17 March 2009

Kiss the 'Blarney Stone with Whisky Chicken and Colcannon

Whiskey Chicken

This week My Kitchen, My World, which is hosted by Lauren from I'll Eat you and her new side-kick Andrea over at Nummy Kitchen are travelling to Ireland in honour of St. Patrick's Day. Happy St. Paddy's Day to all of our Irish friends and all of those who aspire to be Irish for even a few hours today. I hope we are having our fill of Guiness, green beer and Jamesons Irish whiskey. I may be "kissing the blarney stone" by this evening.

Man can climb the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long. -Shaw

If you have noticed the lack of photos for my Irish inspired dinner they will be posted tomorrow because this dinner will be prepared tonight for family and friends and then we will be watching Death or Canada Part II on television. "Death or Canada" was broadcast in Ireland on RTE Television last fall. Shot in Ontario and Ireland, and narrated by actor Brian Dennehy, "Death or Canada" tells the story of how, in the summer of 1847, the British colony of Canada gave refuge to 38,000 Irish famine victims. A Canada-Ireland co-production directed by Ruan Magan, the film is a testament to the history of Canada's open-door immigration policy, said Toronto historian Mark McGowan, author of the book "Death or Canada: The Irish Famine Migration to Toronto 1847" on which the film is based.

"Death or Canada" is an epic, tragic tale of extreme heroism and courage. Set in 1847, the darkest year of the Irish Famine, it follows the true life story of the protestant family, John and Mary Willis who, along with their five children, abandoned their home in the west of Ireland and gambled everything on finding new lives in North America. They flee Ireland on a rotten coffin ship, worse even than those that carried African slaves to the Caribbean and together with over 100,000 other Irish in 1847, they make their way to Canada.

But terror followed in their wake and the couple lost 4 of their 5 children to typhus. Their journey was part of the worst humanitarian disaster of the 19th century - over 20,000 people died en route that summer while around 1 million people died during the famine years in Ireland.

Black ‘47 was not Ireland’s tragedy alone. The fledgling colony of British North America couldn’t deal with an influx of such epic proportions. Its eastern ports and cities were overwhelmed as they struggled to cope with the starving, Typhus-infested refugees. Their arrival threatened to decimate the fledgling British colony as in every city they arrived from Montreal to Toronto outbreaks of Typhus broke out. Many Canadians ran scared but some faced the challenge head on and their courage in helping the refugees helped the Irish overcome the worst calamity they had ever endured and allowed many to travel on into the United States when they re-opened their doors. Hundreds of the dead were buried in unmarked graves."

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. -Shaw

On a more lighthearted note this is the funniest Guiness commercial ever....


So what does More Than Burnt Toast serve up for her Irish Feast?

Whiskey Chicken, Colcannon, and Brussel Sprout Salad (for a touch of green) and for dessert Irish Cream Cheesecake.


"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand."

**Whiskey Chicken**

1 lb boneless chicken breast or thighs
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup whiskey (Jameson Irish Whiskey)
½ cup chicken stock
2 cups sliced mushrooms
¼ cup shallots, chopped
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon
 lemon juice

Slice chicken thickly. Season with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in butter until cooked evenly all over. Add whiskey and stock, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken and keep warm.

Drain pan juices into a measuring cup, adding water if necessary to make up ⅔ of a cup. Return liquid to pan, stir in mushrooms, and shallots. Simmer until mushrooms soften slightly. Combine cream and flour, add to mixture, cook and stir constantly until thick and bubbly.

Return chicken to pan and stir until heated through and well coated in sauce. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and serve.


1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward (4 - 5 medium)
50g butter
1 small onion, very finely chopped
Few fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
225g savoy cabbage, leaves torn (or 2 cups shredded green cabbage)
Splash of double cream

Cut the potatoes into even pieces and cook in a pan of boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, return to the pan and put back over the heat for 30 seconds, shaking occasionally, to drive off the excess moisture. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a pan and fry the onion and thyme gently for 6-8 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute for 2 minutes; and a good splash of water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, until wilted and softened. Drain and stir the cabbage into the potatoes, with the remaining butter and cream. Mash well.

Éirinn go Brách

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. i love the sound of your whisky chicken - anything involving a smokey malt is a bonus! i tried my hand at colcannon a few years back and it was very nice - should make it more often!

  2. my favirote boy's name is PATRICK. unfortunately, it is one name that is not in use in greece, so i can't wish anyone a happy nameday here.
    i just love that name, and the island it comes from

  3. Wow, what a story of human tragedy and triumph! I really can't imagine the inner strength it took to persevere in such extreme conditions. I could, however, gobble up every bite of today's recipes! It's been a while since I had colcannon, and it sure does sound good! So does that whiskey chicken! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  4. Happy St. Paddy's Day to you too Val!!

    Colcannon is pure heaven to eat and oh boy I do like the sound of the whiskey chicken too!

    Éirinn go Brách

  5. I love meat stewed in whisky! A delicious dish!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!



  6. Hi Val, your entry really touched me. I wish I was in Canada to watch Death or Canada. Have a Happy St. Patty's Day!

  7. That chicken dish looks wonderful. I definitely have to put it on my must try list.

    I wonder if that story is on DVD. I should look it up. It sounds tragic, but quite interesting.

  8. That Whiskey Chicken sounds fabulous! I definitely want to try it.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  9. Whiskey chicken - love it! What kind of flavor does it add? I really like that Irish poem. As soon as I am done work I will be going to enjoy a nice Stout as you said be Irish for a few hours.

  10. I have a Jameson whiskey cake that would go nicely with your menu. Tip one up for me.

  11. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! great recipe!

  12. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Val! What a story...

    On a brighter note...is it just me, or did I miss the recipe for Irish Cream Cheesecake?

  13. I would love to try your irish ream cheesecake sounds yummy, Thanks for sharing

  14. Your dinner sounds so good , I can't wait to see the pictures tomorrow! I wish I could see that movie, I'm gonna see if I can get it on video.

  15. That all sounds delicious Val. And thank you for sharing that touching information. Sometimes we have to watch or read stories like this to bring us back down to earth. It is astounding what some people have endured in their lives.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  16. Happy St. Paddy Day to you too!

  17. Can't wait to see all these pictures!!!! I love the saying about "a reasonable man".

  18. Happy St. Patrick's Day. The chicken sounds delicious, it reminds me of a similar recipe I make with veal.

  19. How sad is the story of their Famine and arrival to North America. I read a while ago Angela's Ashes and it was one of the saddest books I ever read! Nobody should suffer that much.

    A toast for Irish people♥♥♥

    That's a wonderful menu Valli!

  20. Can't wait to see how these dishes turned out, Val. The Whiskey Chicken sounds great! I have gotten into the habit of using boneless thighs a lot. They take half the time to cook and don't dry out.

  21. so...do you have a hangover this morning? Thanks for the sad story about the plight of the early settlers and the humorous and very clever commercial.

  22. hello irish whiskey! i personally can't handle it any other way but incorporated into meat. :)

  23. YUM. The feast sounds fabulous!

    I'm a bit late, but I hope that your St. Patrick's day was fabulous!! I was feasting with my peeps too!

  24. I hope it was fantastic!

  25. I loved this post and the video. Thank you also for the history lesson. You sure did your research - whiskey with chicken - could be very interesting.

  26. Great recipe you're sharing Val. Looks so delicious.

  27. That is a nice looking St Pattys day meal!

  28. I am going to have to try your chicken recipe...sounds and looks luscious. I am going to follow your blog. Best to you!

    BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

  29. Always lookimg for an excuse to use whiskey in food. Love the smokiness. Great recipe.

  30. What a great picture. The whiskey chicken sounds delish!


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