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Balmoral Chicken

Introduction & method

This wonderful dish is similar to chicken cordon bleu or chicken Kiev, but in my version I don't just cut a slot in a chicken breast and ram haggis in, I butterfly and flatten the chicken, form the haggis into a sausage and roll it up in the chicken. Then I wrap it all in bacon and bake it. It certainly makes a change from the regular haggis, neeps and tatties on Burn's Night.

Balmoral Chicken Recipe

Prep the Chicken/Haggis Roll

Your chicken breasts should be skinless and without any bones. If you have 'mini fillets' attached to the underside of the breasts, cut them off. Now lay the breasts, domed side up, on your chopping board. Press down gently with the heel of your hand, and slice horizontally through the centre. Stop cutting just before you reach the other side. Open up the breast and press it flat. Chicken breasts prepared this way are said to be 'butterflied'.

If you are still using plastic film, you are a monster. But, to be honest, it's the best thing for this job. I abandoned the use of plastic film a few months ago and had to use greaseproof paper instead. Lay out a sheet of plastic or paper on your worktop and arrange the butterflied breasts and the mini fillets into a rectangle about twice as long as it is high. Place a second sheet of plastic or paper over the chicken and bash the hell out of it with a rolling pin. You want a nice, even layer of chicken about 1cm / half an inch thick.

Commercially-made haggis typically comes in an inedible plastic 'bung', but I've also seen it in a can. Remove the plastic if present, dice the haggis quite small and then squidge it together and roll it between your hands to form a thick sausage. Arrange it along the centre of the chicken, then carefully lift up the film or paper and roll the chicken over the haggis to enclose it fully. Rewrap this bigger sausage in film or paper and pop it in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

Finish Making the Roll and Bake It

Heat your oven to 160°C (320°F) for a fan oven, 180°C (356°F), gas 4, Remove the chicken/haggis roll from the fridge and unwrap it - keep the wrapping, we're using it again (whoopee, environment saved!). Lay the bacon rashers side by side on the plastic or paper. Place the chicken towards the bottom edge of the bacon panel. Use the paper or plastic to lift up the bacon and roll it over the chicken. Use any spare rashers to close up the ends of the roll. Place the roll, bacon joints down, on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Wrap loosely with aluminium foil to stop the bacon from drying out and becoming brittle. Bake for 30 minutes, then check the internal temperature. The haggis should be at least 74°C (165°F). For me, it needed another ten minutes, this time without the foil cover. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Make the Whisky Sauce

Heat the whisky in a small saucepan. When it's warmed up, set fire to it with a long cook's match or taper. We do this because it burns off some of the alcohol: it looks great; and we all need a little frisson of excitement everyday as we wonder if this is the time the house gets burned to the ground. But it's totally optional, you don't have to flambé it if you don't want to. When the flames have died down, add the stock and bring to the boil. Now turn the heat down low, add the mustard, cream and butter and simmer gently for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if required. The sauce will probably be quite runny - if you want it thicker, make up a slurry of 1 tsp cold water and 1 tsp flour and stir it into the sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes until it thickens up.


The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Balmoral Chicken on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 2 skinless chicken breasts
 200 grams streaky bacon
 225 grams haggis
 250 ml chicken stock
 100 ml double (heavy) cream
 2 tbsp whisky
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  salt to taste

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Resting time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.