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The Kilted Chef brings a taste of Auld Lang Syne with his recipes for a delicious Burns supper

Cock a leekie cocktail.
Cock a leekie cocktail.

Craig Wilson, aka The Kilted Chef, puts a modern spin on Burns Night by having fun with classic ingredients.

Burns Night is always a welcome sight on the calendar, the chance to pay homage to the great Rabbie Burns.

I thought I’d do just that with these Scottish themed recipes, with a twist…

Cock-a-leekie soup has all those comforting flavours we know and love and is perfect for seeing us through the long, dark, January days.

Giving it a modern feel, I’ve served it in a cocktail glass, which is sure to add a bit of glamour to the dinner table.

I’ve used two more Burns supper favourites – haggis and tatties – in my recipe for quick and easy potato cakes with a kick of chilli.

Serve with a light salad, dressed with wonderful, Macintosh of Glendaveny rapeseed oil, which is beautifully fresh.

Add a hint of whisky, and you’ve got the perfect dish to toast our national bard.


Cock-a-leekie cocktail with crispy kale

(Serves 6) 

Cock-a-leekie cocktail.


  • 50g broth mix
  • 1 litre cold water
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 120g onion
  • 150g carrot
  • 150g neep
  • 100g leeks
  • 200g boneless chicken thighs
  • 10g salt
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 6 soft pitted prunes
  • 5g flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cavolo nero leaves (Italian kale)


  1. Finely chop the onion and put in the soup pan along with the broth mix and one litre of cold water.
  2. Melt the stock cubes in 1 litre of boiling water, stir until the cubes have melted, then add this to the pan.
  3. Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks and add to the pan.
  4. Add salt to season and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Finely dice the carrots and neep and add to the pan; simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the finely chopped leeks and continue to simmer for a further five minutes, then remove from the heat.
  7. Season to taste with white pepper.
  8. For the kale, heat the deep fat fryer to 185°C.
  9. Remove the hard stem in the centre of each leaf and place in the fryer for one minute until crispy, then place on to kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt.
  10. To serve: Pour the soup into warmed cocktail glasses.
  11. Place a prune on the side of each glass and top the soup with a sprinkle of flat leaf parsley.
  12. Serve the cooked kale alongside.

Haggis and chilli potato cake

(Serves 6)

Haggis and chilli potato cake.


  • 450g Red Rooster potatoes
  • 450ml water
  • 5g salt
  • 1g ground turmeric
  • 150g haggis
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1g cracked black pepper
  • A dusting of plain flour
  • Bag of spinach salad leaves
  • Fresh sprig of thyme
  • 2 tbsp Macintosh of Glendaveny cold pressed rapeseed oil

For the salad dressing:

  • 70ml Macintosh of Glendaveny cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp whisky
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 15ml clear honey
  • Pinch of salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Peel and cut the potatoes and add to a pan along with turmeric and salt.
  2. Boil in 450ml of water for 20 minutes then drain off the water and return to the heat for five minutes, moving the potatoes around the pan.
  3. Mash the potatoes, then crumble the haggis and finely diced red chilli into the mash. Add black pepper and chopped parsley and stir through.
  4. Put the mixture into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Divide the mash into six portions, weighing approximately 70g per portion.
  6. Lightly dust a dry chopping board with plain flour.
  7. Take each portion of mash and shape into a potato cake, then return these to the fridge for five minutes.
  8. While the potato cakes are chilling, make the salad dressing. In a bowl add 70ml of MacIntosh of Glendaveny cold pressed rapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, clear honey, whisky and whisk together. Add a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper.
  9. Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a frying pan until slightly smoking.
  10. Cooking two at a time, place the lightly dusted potato cakes in the pan and leave on a moderate heat for one to one-and-a-half minutes until golden. Flip over and cook for the same time on the other side.
  11. Dry out the pan with kitchen paper, then repeat – you may need to add further oil to the pan.
  12. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/ gas mark four. Place the cakes on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to one side while you prepare the salad.
  13. Place the spinach leaves in a bowl and coat with 2 tbsp of the dressing. Take some chilled plates, place a few salad leaves in the middle of the plate, pop the potato cake on top and drizzle the remaining dressing around the edge.
  14. Decorate with a sprig of fresh thyme.

More from The Kilted Chef…

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