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Old 11-19-2004, 05:30 PM   #1
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Scottish recipe - Howtowdie

Howtowdie is the old name for skirlie stuffed chicken, which was served on a bed of spinach with drappit eggs (poached eggs) on top! Too much for today's more cholesterol conscious cooks

Howtowdie comes from the french word for a pullet - Hutadeau.... The Auld Alliance means that many Scottish dishes are based on old French recipes.

3.5 - 4 lb roasting chicken
1 pt stock made from the giblets (apart from the chicken liver)
chicken liver
2 oz butter
8 - 10 shallots
2 cloves
pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stuff the chicken with skirlie, making sure it is well packed into the bird and that the cavity is well secured so that the skirlie doesn't leak out during the cooking.

Melt the butter in a heavy based casserole dish. Add the shallots and soften until slightly coloured. Add the chicken and brown. Add the spices and seasoning, then pour the stock over the chicken and shallots.

Cover and cook at Gas 4 for about 1.5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the dish and keep it hot.

Strain the stock into a saucepan, add the chopped chicken liver and bring to the boil. Reduce the stock and add more salt and pepper if required.

Carve the chicken. Serve with the skirlie and chicken gravy, with seasonal vegatables.

Here's my family skirlie recipe
Skirlie is traditionally served with roast meats like roast beef, chicken or lamb - although I have had friends serve it with salmon

4 oz oatmeal (not Quaker porridge oats, the REAL stuff!)
1 medium sized strong flavoured onion, finely chopped
2oz butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Some families add dried herbs such as sage to the oats just before adding them to the butter/onion mixture.

Gently melt the butter in a pan, add chopped onion and cook on a very low heat for 5 minutes or so, until the onions start to turn golden but not brown. Add the oats and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the oats are cooked.Season with salt and pepper.

Serve as a side dish with beef, chicken or other roast meats.


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Old 11-19-2004, 09:15 PM   #2
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I just KNEW you were headed for skirlies after the Black Bun! But I learned something tonight: I though Auld Alliance meant simply the combination of roquefort and scotch!!! Of course, that supports the Scot-French Connection in its own way...!

So how are you cooking your Roastit Bubbly Jack this year???

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Old 11-20-2004, 01:55 AM   #3
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I haven't quite decided whether to have a bubbly jock or a goose - depends which mood I'm in when I go to the butchers to order my Christmas meat!

The Auld Alliance betwen France and Scotland was very strong - Mary of Guise was MQS' mother and she brought French chefs to Scotland and then her daughter reinforced that tradition. Personally, I think it must have been awful for them - our 'cuisine' before that was pretty dicey.... 8)
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:46 AM   #4
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Hmmm... makes me think of several diary entries by my great-grandmother and one about how our ancestors would pound raw venison fresh from the kill between two planks (probably to squeeze out the blood) and just eat the stuff raw....as tough an chewy as could be imagined. Indeed, Mary brought many wonderful improvements to Scotland at that time!

And thank you for the typo correction of "Jack" to "Jock"! (Roasted Turkey for those keeping score at home...)
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