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Chicken in the Heather with Cauliflower, Whisky & Cheese – Outlander on STARZ Episode 113

Chicken in the Heather with Cauliflower, Whisky & Cheese – Outlander on STARZ Episode 113

Outlander on Starz

At the end of the last episode, there was trouble in the parlour, and I’m not talking about another cat fight between Claire and Jenny. No my dearies, it seems The Black Watch has come to Lallybroch, and our hero a wanted man without his pardon…what are the Frasers and Murrays to do?

Host their unwelcome guests to dinner, of course!

While looking for inspiration for this week, I found a couple of recipes on Rampant Scotland with flavours that caught my eye. Although probably from the mid-20th Century, almost all of the ingredients (or variations thereof) were available in Jenny’s pantry at Lallybroch.

The recipes were rather old-fashioned, though. Sometimes, as in the case of Scotch Broth, a 200 YO recipe needs no updating at all. But most of the time, even recipes from the middle of the last century need a little help to fit into our lives here in the 21st.


I can’t help but think of the Game of Throne dragons every time I look at this pic — although they’d probably have trouble getting off the ground with breasts that big — but I digress.

I have great intentions of doing a few “in the kitchen” videos, but I haven’t found the time yet. One of the first will be how to cut up a chicken, which takes less than 5 minutes once you’ve had some practice. It’s cheaper than buying chicken pieces, and it leaves you with the backbone so you can make a big pot of homemade stock.

The only thing I forgot to do for my picture above was cut off the wing tips, which I keep to throw into the stock pot.

Here’s a video from the NY Times that does the job almost the same way I do:

If you’re making these for a pre-show dinner on Saturday night, the best plan is to start the chicken first. Get it into the oven, then move on to the cauliflower, which takes about 15 minutes less cooking time.

Once both dishes are out of the oven, let them rest for 10-15 minutes before you serve. That resting time gives the sauces a chance to thicken and settle so that it’s easier to dish them up at the table.

cauliflower whisky cheese

The mushrooms and whisky added to what is basically a classic cauliflower cheese lend a complex earthiness to the dish that both My Englishman and I really loved. Wild mushrooms would add even more flavour than the buttons I used.

The red pepper is admittedly anachronistic, but the dish desperately needed some colour…so I went for it.

Perhaps not as brave as how far Tobias went for it last week, but we all have to work within our own comfort levels.

Chicken in the Heather

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Chicken in the Heather

: Yummy honey-mustard roasted chicken that the whole family will love.

Serves 4 to 6

  • Butter – 1 Tble
  • Liquid Heather Honey – ½ Cup
  • Dijon Mustard – ¼ Cup
  • Olive Oil – 1 Tble
  • Red Wine Vinegar – 1 Tble
  • Fresh Thyme, minced – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Chicken Pieces, bone-in, skin on – 3 lbs

Move the rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 375°F. Use the butter to grease the bottom and sides of an oven-proof dish.

Stir together the honey, mustard, oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Toss the chicken pieces in the sauce to coat well.

Arrange the chicken in the prepared dish, skin side down and pour over any remaining sauce. Roast for 30 minutes, then flip the chicken pieces and return to the oven for another 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, the skin in browned and the sauce has thickened.

Remove from the oven and rest 10 minutes before serving, passing the sauce at the table.

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  • I cut up a whole chicken into 10 pieces, but you can use all thighs, breasts, or even wings if you prefer.
  • If you can’t find heather honey, any clear liquid honey will do.
  • Leftovers make awesome chicken salad, especially when you stir a bit of the leftover sauce in with some mayonnaise.


Chicken in the Heather

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Cauliflower, Whisky and Cheese

:A modern update on the classic cauliflower cheese. Mushrooms, whisky and aged cheddar give this dish a delicious earthy appeal.

Serves 6

  • Butter – 2 Tble, divided
  • Whole Cauliflower – about 2 lbs
  • Olive Oil – 2 Tble
  • Red Pepper, diced – ¼ Cup (½ small)
  • Button Mushrooms, diced – 1 Cup
  • Garlic, grated or minced – 1 clove
  • Whisky – ¼ Cup
  • Fine Oatmeal – 3 Tble
  • Whipping Cream – 1 Cup
  • Whole Milk – ½ Cup
  • Aged Cheddar Cheese, grated – 1½ Cups
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Nutmeg – pinch
  • Chopped Nuts or Breadcrumbs – ½ Cup

Move the rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 375°F. Grease a deep baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Bring a large pot of salt water to a boil. Break the cauliflower up into 1” florets, trimming away the extra stalks. Blanch the cauliflower in the boiling salted water until tender, 5 minutes. Drain, cool slightly and arrange cauliflower in the prepared baking dish.

Heat the oil and remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Add the red pepper and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. When the mushroom liquid has nearly dried, add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Deglaze with the whisky and cook nearly dry.

Stir in the oatmeal and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the cream and milk, and continue to stir until hot and thickened. Add cheese and stir to melt. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and season again if necessary.

Pour over the cauliflower, stir gently to combine. Bake for 30 minutes, top with chopped nuts or breadcrumbs and return to the oven until golden and bubbly, another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and rest 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  • The water you use to blanch/boil vegetables should be salted enough to taste like the sea.
  • The easiest way to incorporate garlic into any recipe is to grate it on a kitchen rasp.
  • To make fine oatmeal, pulse rolled oats in a spice grinder or food processor until mostly powder.
  • No oatmeal?  Use 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour instead.
  • Wait until the cream mixture has thickened before adding the cheese. If you add it too early, the fat from the cheese will cling to the particles of oats and prevent it from thickening the liquid.
  • Buy whole nutmeg and grate it as you need. There is no purpose to pre-ground nutmeg. It’s tasteless and a waste of money.
  • To prepare this dish ahead of time, blanch the cauliflower as directed, then shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Prepare the sauce, allow to cool, then combine with cauliflower, and refrigerate, covered, until ready to bake.


  1. Dana
    April 28, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Oh we will be having this for our Saturday “Outlander Feast” night.

  2. Georgia Burns
    April 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Thanks for the video, Theresa. I feel empowered to cut up a chicken now. And this recipe looks worthy of the learning curve. Can’t wait to try it.

  3. Anna Lapping
    April 28, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Another winner, Theresa. I’m going to forward this to my daughter so she can make it for her family (all boys/and her husband). I think they will love the honey mustard sauce, as will my husband. We’re always looking for new ways with chicken. She may leave out the mushrooms in the cauliflower, but I certainly won’t. Great idea, and I can’t wait to try the ground oatmeal as the thickener for the sauce. Thank you.

  4. Cristin Watts
    April 28, 2015 at 8:51 am

    oooh Yum!

  5. Carol Mackey
    April 28, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Thank you, Theresa! Both recipes sound delicious, and I will be trying them as soon as I get the ingredients. One of my sons has recently concluded that he is sensitive to gluten. Using the oat “flour” as a thickener is going to be a great thing for him. I’m wondering if you couldn’t adapt this recipe to mac and cheese, using cauliflower in place of pasta? Not an 18th century recipe, but . . . crumbled bacon on top, maybe?? –I should eat breakfast before I “visit” with you! Your recipe for Scotch Broth turned out very well, by the way. Made it in my Crock Pot, and the only thing I would change is to roast the bones first for more flavor (beef). Not being a Kale kind of person, I used Savoy Cabbage, which probably made it more bland. Thanks again–and happy “Outlander” viewing!! 🙂

  6. Bird Lady
    April 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Sounds great!
    What is fine oatmeal? I have rolled oats.
    (I just finished enjoying the barley and figs.Yum!)

    • Theresa
      April 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Fine oatmeal is ground oats…see the notes at the bottoms of the recipe. 🙂

  7. Jan Anderson
    April 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    oh yum! This looks great and I’m going for it! The Outlander viewing lassies will love it! So far they’ve loved everything so kudos to you for that! The Scotch Broth was a hit, but OMG the BREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One lassie ate 3 pieces before dinner even started! haha It was outrageously good and my hubby is now asking me if I can make it every week! He said, and I quote: “We’ll never have to buy pre-made bread ever again!” Yes, thanks for that! haha

    Question: (Since I’m a dweeb in the kitchen) If I double all these recipes to serve our large group, do I have to add cooking time? Especially to the chicken? Does it take more oven energy to cook a larger quantity at one time? Sorry I’m so lame!

  8. Gayle Hesse
    April 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    This sounds great, as do all your recipes.

    A questions about the title – is this recipe for Episode 114 or 113? You have shown the Scotch Broth recipe as being associated with Episode 112, so I thought this would be for 113. Heaven forbid we should miss an episode!


    • Theresa
      April 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      oops! My mistake, Gayle! Changing…

  9. Judy
    April 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Gosh, this sounds great! I learned a new way to cut the breasts of chicken. I’ve been cutting up whole chickens for forty-plus years, but I just did a “side-ways” cut, not down the middle. I like the idea of 4 smaller pieces, thanks for the video. I also never realized about the guidance of the fat lines, I just used “feel”. My Mom needed to cook two whole ones to feed our hungry family of six. (I’m the “little one” at 5’8″.) The back and ribs are about my favorite for eating when fried, so I guess I’ve never thought of them as “bonus for stock.” Now that there’s usually just two of us for dinner, I may buy more whole chickens and make more stock. Thanks for this post! I’m going to also share it with my daughter.

  10. ms.yoshimi
    April 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Am making Scotch broth tonight! Can’t wait to do this chicken dish — love the nutmeg in the recipe! ms. yoshimi

  11. Stacy
    April 29, 2015 at 11:43 am

    This sounds amazing?! Is there any type of substitution I could use for the honey to keep the sugars down?

    • Theresa
      April 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      You could simply use less honey…but I encourage you to use the full amount. It’s delicious, and not that much sugar when spread across the servings.

  12. Alice Dyment
    April 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    This is not the first time I’ve read that boiling water should taste like the sea. Pasta should also be cooked in this way. However, I live in central Canada, which is a long way from the sea, so I am not sure how salty this should be. Can you be a bit more precise please?

    • Theresa
      April 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      That’s actually pretty precise taste wise…maybe try with 1 tablespoon per litre, then taste and see what you think?

  13. Betty ForbesHarris
    May 1, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Lovely site, looking forward to trying your recipes…they sound so good…..

    Thank you, Betty

  14. Rhonda
    May 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Making the chicken recipe now!!! I used spicy brown mustard and wildflower pure honey (it’s what I had on hand). Hope it tastes good!

    • Rhonda
      May 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      It was delicious!! Family loved it

  15. Renee Hedden
    May 3, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I made the chicken last night but as there only two of us, I used 2 chicken breasts with the bone in. It was delicious! Very quick & easy to put together. We didn’t have the cauliflower; we had roasted, small potatoes. While the chicken was roasting we had time to sit by the fire pit with a glass of wine and a scotch whiskey. This recipe is now going into our rotation of dinners! Thank you 🙂

  16. Julia Baker
    May 5, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Both were delicious! The recipes were easy to follow. Husband is usually a purist with his vegetables, but said “Be sure to keep this cauliflower recipe.”

  17. Susanne
    May 5, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    My whole family inhaled these recipes! I felt so proud of myself for cutting up a chicken. Thanks very much for the opportunity to learn a new skill! The extra chicken sauce mixed with mayo as a salad dressing was to die for.

  18. Bullrem
    May 6, 2015 at 7:54 am

    This will be a yummy supper tonight… Thanks,
    Helen in Ark.

  19. Marcia Steadman
    May 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Tried the chicken tonight for dinner. My daughter who tends to be rather a picky eater loved it. Had to use clover honey instead of heather but tasted wonderful. Served with rice and cooked carrots. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Bird Lady
    June 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I made Chicken in the Heather last night. I used some very delicious wildflower honey. After the chicken baked and was resting I poured the sauce into a sauce pan and reduced it a bit to concentrate the flavor. Then I put it in a bowl and spooned off some of the chicken fat. Yum! Yum! Yum! YUM!
    Tonight we will have the leftovers, pulled off the bones and mixed sauce and mayo.

  21. Katie
    June 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    You should do a cookbook. Everything I’ve read or tried has been delicious.

    • Theresa
      June 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Coming up in 2016! To be published by the Random House Group

  22. Cathy
    November 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    This is in the oven and smelling soooo good. I used boneless skinless chicen thighs as that was what I had. Also just had a regular honey, I would never find heather honey on this little island. Also had no red peppers, so used red onions, which won’t give color, but the sauce tasted so good! Can’t wait to eat the whole meal.

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