Scottish Chicken & Apple
1941 the merchant ship Politician bound for America, carrying 20,000
cases of whisky, foundered off the Island of Eriskay in the Outer
Hebrides. Some 5,000 cases of the whisky was 'liberated' by the
islanders and the incident provided the basis of the humorous novel
'Whisky Galore' by Sir Compton Mackenzie ( a founder member of the
National Party of Scotland in 1928 ).
At the time Mackenzie was resident in Barra and was well acquainted with
the Politician incident. The book was first published in 1947 and
Compton Mackenzie dedicated it to ' all my dear friends in Barra in
grateful memory of much kindness and much laughter through many happy
years.' The book's popularity was enhanced when in 1948 an Ealing comedy
film of 'Whisky Galore' was made in Barra with the author himself
playing a cameo role, In America the film was released under the title
'Tight Little Island.'
Mackenzie set the story on the ficticious Islands of Great and Little
Todday which, owing to war-time restrictions , ran out of whisky! The
foundering of the Politician, disguised as the 'Cabinet Minister', with
her cargo of whisky solves the 'dry' problem and allows the reiteach for
the love interest in the story to go ahead.
In the Western Isles a reiteach, or formal betrothal, was a complicated
affair which usually took place after it was tacitly known that a young
couple were contemplating marriage. There was a gathering of friends at
the bride-to-be's home, one of whom had been appointed to ask her father
on the bridegroom-to-be's behalf. After much talk, and with the subject
on hand never directly referred to, it would ultimately fall to the
father to agree to the match and then the party could begin. A sit down
meal, provided by the mother and other relations - broth, chicken and
potatoes - which would be attended, miraculously, by musicians as well
as the best maids and bestman-to-be, although everyone was expected to
pretend that it was all a great surprise. Then the ceilidh could go on
for hours. Our recipe for this week - Scottish Chicken and Apple - would
grace any such occasion and it has the added bonus "o haen a drappie o
Scottish Chicken and Apple
Ingredients: 1 chicken breast ( skinlesss ) per person; 1 eating apple,
peeled, cored and sliced, per person; 1 tbsp whisky per person; cream
Into a large enough frying pan to fit the chicken put a knob of butter
per apple and saute the apple slices until golden brown on both sides.
Cook enough to fill the pan and continue until all sauted. Put aside
Saute the chicken both sides, then add water, enough to come halfway up
the chicken. A sprinkle of salt and half a teaspoon of Swiss Veg
bouillon or veg stock for each two chicken breasts. Simmer with a lid on
the pan until tender. Lift the chicken onto a serving plate. To the
remaining stock in the pan add cream, about a small carton for two
people. Stir and simmer to reduce slightly. Put the whisky into the
stock and cream, replace chicken and apple and simmer. The chicken and
apple will absorb some of the sauce, simmer only for about 1-2 minutes.
Serve and pour the remaining sauce over. Delicious!!