Balmoral Chicken

Serves 4


150g/6oz haggis, roughly chopped

75g/3oz vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped

8 rashers good streaky smoked bacon

4 small skinless and boneless chicken breasts, approx 125g/5oz each

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Splash of vegetable oil

For the vegetable garnish

2 tbsp butter

1 med leek, trimmed and finely shredded

150g fresh Brussel sprouts, trimmed and finely shredded

50ml/ 2fl oz chicken stock

4 tbsp double cream, or more if you like/optional

For the sauce

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 stick celery, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 heaped tbsp flour

1 tsp tomato puree

750ml/ chicken stock

Splash of Worcester and Tabasco

2 tbsp whisky



1) Mix the haggis and chestnuts in a bowl. Stretch the bacon with the back of a knife to make each piece thinner and longer by about fifty percent.

2) Cut a deep slit in the side of each chicken breast, taking care not to cut all the way through, then open out to make a deep pocket. Stuff with the haggis mix, squash the sides of the chicken back together, then sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Wrap the chicken tightly in the bacon, trying to keep the ends underneath and tucked in neatly. The chicken will not need seasoning as the haggis and bacon are both highly seasoned. The chicken can be wrapped and chilled for up to 2 days ahead.

3) Heat a large non-stick frying pan then add a little oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan, frying the underside of the chicken first so the ends of the bacon seal together. This will make the chicken easier to turn later. Brown the chicken all over for a few minutes and place in the oven and roast at 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6 for 15 mins, until cooked through. ( If you can only get large chicken breasts they will take up to 25 minutes to roast).Leave to rest covered for 5 minutes.

4) While the chicken is cooking make the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the celery, carrot and onion until golden. Add the flour and cook for a further minute. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock and cranberry and bring to the boil, stirring while it thickens. Add the Worcester sauce, Tabasco and whiskey and taste for seasoning using salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if needed.

5) In another pan, melt the butter then add the leek and fry for 2 mins until starting to soften. Add the sprouts, stir-fry for 2 mins or so until brighter green, then add the stock and the cream. Cover and simmer for 2-3 mins or until just tender. Season to taste and keep warm.

6) Slice the chicken thickly. Serve on top of a mound of the creamed sprouts, with the cranberry sauce drizzled around.


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