Burns NightMainsRecipes

Chicken Balmoral with a Whisky Cream Sauce, Crispy Chicken Skin & Smoked Bacon Crumb

By 22nd January 2021March 23rd, 2021No Comments

If you fancy something a little different for Burn’s Night, then why not try Chicken Balmoral – juicy chicken portions stuffed with haggis, and swimming in a thick and boozy cream sauce. It seems to be unclear as to why the dish is named after the Royal residence in Aberdeenshire, but it certainly wouldn’t look out of place on one of the (probably many) dining tables there. The recipe only calls for just under half of a standard-sized haggis, so there’s still a chance to use the rest for the more traditional haggis, tatties and neeps a day or two later if you think you’ll miss out.

Serve with beer-braised onions, tatties and neeps, and seasonal greens.


Serves 6

  • 1 chicken (cut into 8 portions and deboned, trimmings reserved)
  • 200g haggis
  • 2 onions
  • 50 ml Scotch whisky
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 knobs butter
  • Salt and pepper to season

  1. Heat the oven to 220C.
  2. Remove the skin from each portion of chicken, place on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add the bacon on the paper next to the chicken skin, cover with an additional sheet of greaseproof paper, and weigh down with a smaller tray to keep everything flat. Cook in the oven for 10 mins, then check. The chicken skin and bacon should be slightly crispy. If they’re not, then put back into the oven and check every minute until cooked.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven, and leave the chicken skin and bacon to cool on some kitchen paper.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 190C.
  5. Make a pocket in the chicken breasts and in the portion attached to the wings. and stuff with a large spoonful of haggis. Flatten the thighs, spread a spoonful of haggis along one edge, and roll up into a cylindrical shape. Spoon some haggis into the cavity of the drumstick. If there’s any haggis left then distribute it between the eight portions.
  6. Use some kitchen string to secure the haggis within each portion, and season all over with salt.
  7. Heat a large, oven-proof frying pan on a medium heat on the hob, add a splash of olive oil and knob of butter. When the butter is foaming add the chicken portions, turning occasionally until browned all over.
  8. Add any chicken trimmings to the pan, and transfer to the oven for 25-30 mins.
  9. Remove from the oven, check that the juices run clear, and leave to rest on a warm plate, covered with foil, leaving the roasted trimmings in the pan.
  10. For the whisky cream sauce, put the pan back on the hob on a medium heat. Finely chop the onions, add to the pan, and cook until softened.
  11. Turn the heat up to high, add most of the whisky (reserving a couple of spoonfuls), and reduce until the pan is dry. Add the chicken stock and reduce by a half. Remove the chicken trimmings, add the cream, and reduce by a half again.
  12. Add the mustard, a knob of butter, and the remaining whisky to the sauce, and stir until combined. 
  13. Place the rested chicken portions back into the pan, and cover with the sauce.
  14. Blitz the bacon into a crumb, and sprinkle on top of the chicken. 
  15. Break the crispy chicken skin into 3cm pieces, and stick the shards around the chicken.
  16. Serve at the table in the pan.