A few years ago, as the general manager of Club Galaxy, J&B sent me on a trip to Drummuire Castle in Scotland, because in that year the Galaxy was the biggest outlet of J&B whiskey in the country.

It was an all expenses paid trip that involved first class flights and five-star hotels. Ten days in London, then 7 days in Scotland, and another five days in London.
This was real star treatment, and every morning each one of us on the trip – we were three - would get a hundred pounds as spending money.
I skimped on the spending, choosing to save the money to buy presents for the loved ones on my return, only to find that on the day before our flight home, we were each given a thousand pounds to buy presents.
Those were the good old days.

But, once more, when I try to tell the story behind the recipe, I am drifting.

So….. to the recipe for Cullen Skink, or in simple English, Smoked Haddock Chowder.
Btw, Cullen is a small town in the north east of Scotland.
I take it Skink is a Scottish word for soup, but when I Googled it, it said ‘skink’ is a blue-tongued lizard.

Don’t let it put you off.
This hearty meal is simply delicious.

700 ml milk
½ cup flat leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
450g undyed, smoked haddock fillet
55g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g mashed potato
Salt and pepper

Serves 4
Pour the milk into a large saucepan.
Remove the leaves from the parsley and add the stalks to the milk. Finely chop the leaves and keep to one side.
Add the bay leaf and the haddock.
Bring the milk to a gentle boil and cook for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon remove the haddock from the milk and put to one side.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reserve the liquor.
Heat the butter in another saucepan, add the onions and cook gently until translucent about 5 mins, taking care not to burn them.
Add the liquor to the onions, then add the potato and stir until incorporated to create a thick, creamy consistency.
Flake the smoked haddock into meaty chunks taking care to remove any bones you may find. Add to the soup.
Add the chopped parsley leaves to the soup and bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 4 - 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.