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Celebrating Scottish Food Fortnight…..Stovies

 

Scottish  Food  fortnight is in full swing with a great programme of events and  lots of well known chefs demonstrating their dishes to lovers of Scottish food. My contribution has been a commitment to using as much Scottish and local produce in our family meals, something I always try to do but for this fortnight I’m making an extra special effort and will try as much as possible to cook dishes which reflect the great produce that Scotland is known for. I’m in no way a ‘chef’ type cook, I like to cook a good variety of wholesome and healthy meals for my family so I hope you enjoy my recipes.

Stovies is a dish that just sings out ‘comfort food; warm and comforting, filling and tasty. Over the years I’ve had many different types of Stovies and once when I was in Fife a lady told me that the ingredients depended on what part of Scotland you came from. My mother tells me that Stovies were Monday nights dinner, made with whatever was left over from Sunday dinner..meat, sliced potatoes and onion, layered in a casserole.

History however tells me that Stovies have been around for a long time, the word having come from the French ‘étouffér …to cook in a closed pot and dates from the Auld Alliance links in the 17th century.

This is my take on a Stoved dish, there are many recipes available, some with beef, some with lamb and in Fife I had the dish made with corned beef. The main ingredients for Stovies are meat, sliced potatoes and onions but I have added a few extra ingredients as my intention was to make a good Scottish dish to celebrate Food Fortnight. I have used free range Scottish Chicken thighs for my recipe, with the addition of Macsweens’s haggis for extra depth of flavour.

The recipe serves  5 but quantities can be easily adapted.

I used a large Le Crueset pot  although you can use a large deep casserole and cover tightly with tin foil.

Ingredients

Scottish rapeseed oil

10 Free range chicken thighs. I like to remove the skin to reduce the fat content (the bacon gives additional flavour)

2 rashers of thick Scottish bacon chopped into small lardons or 2 small packets of lardons.

Haggis, I used half a pack of Macsweens cocktail haggis and it kept its shape during cooking.

Approx 300g of shallots, sliced

Sliced potatoes, I left the skin on.

Few sprigs of Thyme

150 ml

500ml Chicken  stock

3 Tbs well seasoned flour.

Coat the chicken thighs with flour, heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken pieces for a few minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Add the bacon to the pan, brown and set aside.

Place a layer of the sliced potatoes followed by the shallots and half of the bacon pieces in the base of a large casserole. Sprinkle with Thyme leaves, season and  drizzle with rapeseed oil. Place the chicken thighs on top and arrange the haggis in between.

Arrange the remaining potatoes, onions, bacon pieces and thyme on top. Season, drizzle with a little more oil then add the chicken stock and wine.

Cook at 170oc/Fan 150oc Gas 3 for 90 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender. Once cooked, brown the top under a hot grill before serving.

Cooks notes.

Vary the recipe by using thickly sliced Venison Chorizo instead of bacon or replace the haggis with Black Pudding.

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