Fusion and Collaboration
Fusion Chicken Hotpot came about because of collaborative working. Quite apt, considering ; ) You have probably heard me mention Goldhill Organics before. Well, they sent me a wonderful home delivery box filled with stunningly beautiful vegetables and some locally produced Chicken which they have sourced from Blackmore Vale Butchery. I’ve never had chicken from them, so was intrigued as to what it would be like. It certainly looked good and I couldn’t wait to get cooking with it.
Receiving a vegetable and meat box like this one had massive appeal for me!! There were enough ingredients to cook a couple of different meals and depending on the size of your household, you could make a fair few dinners, or lunches for that matter. With fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic and onion along with the most luscious looking spinach leaves, earthy potato and vibrant chillies….I was getting quite excited at the kitchen tinkering possibilities. Now, to make up a family favourite or something a little different? By the way, if you don’t feel confident enough to experiment with ingredients like this, Goldhill and I both have a recipe section, to help you with plenty of cooking inspiration!
Spicing up your everyday meals
Any cooking in the Hari Hari kitchen ALWAYS includes some super aromatic and flavoursome Sri Lankan spices. Being 0 calories is certainly a bonus but its the 100% flavour that comes with using the spices, that can turn an everyday meal into a fusion pot of comfort and adventure! Fusion Chicken Hotpot is just such a meal.
Time to Prepare Fusion Chicken Hotpot
Preparation Time – 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 30 – 45 minutes
4 chicken thighs (meat cut into bite size pieces)
500ml chicken stock (can use shop bought version or make your own) with 1 tsp turmeric powder or a 2cm piece of fresh grated turmeric, added to the stock.
1 medium onion finely sliced
2-3 large crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek/dill seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1-2 tsp roasted curry powder
1-2 tsp unroasted curry powder (if you don’t have these SL spices, can use 2-3tsp regular curry powder)
2 chopped celery sticks, (optional)
1/2 sliced yellow pepper (optional)
1-2 small grated or finely sliced carrots
4-5 large handfuls fresh spinach leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste.
For the Topping
3-4 medium to large potato
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1-2 tbs butter (optional)
50ml milk (optional- add this bit by bit till you get the desired consistency)
Salt and Pepper to taste
A couple of handfuls of grated cheese to add on top of the potato topping (you can add as much or little as you like).
Time to Cook Fusion Chicken Hotpot
1. Peel, wash and cube your potato. Place in a large pan with water and bring to the boil (you need these for the mashed potato topping).
2.The potatoes once boiled, will need to be drained.
3. Add 1-2 tbs of butter (optional), 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, milk(optional) and salt and pepper to taste. Then mash your potato to the desired consistency. Then put aside.
4. In a large frying pan, add a splash of oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, dill/fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and cook till onions look glassy.
5. Add your chicken and stir through.
6. Add your celery, pepper and carrots and stir through once more.
7. Add the roasted and unroasted curry powders (or standard curry powder if you can’t get hold of the Sri Lankan spice mix), pour in the chicken stock (remember to add the turmeric to the stock), stir and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is the base of your fusion chicken hotpot.
While the chicken is cooking, wash and pat dry your spinach leaves. You can either leave them whole or tear them into smaller pieces.
9. When the chicken is cooked, portion out the hotpot either into one large casserole type dish or into smaller, individual ramekins.
10. Layer the fresh spinach leaves over the top of the fusion chicken hotpot. You can add as much or as little as you like.
11. Then layer the mashed potato on top, ensuring that the spinach leaves are completely covered.
12. Place the ramekins or casserole dish in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 5, 190C or 375F. Allow to bake for approximately 10-15 minutes.
13. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the grated cheese on the potato and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
14. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. You can add a large fresh salad to accompany your Fusion Chicken Hotpot, or some garlic bread or baguette (great for soaking up any leftover sauce at the bottom of the dish!)
Optional but Super Tasty
Beef instead of chicken would work well in this recipe. You will need to change the stock to beef or vegetable stock as opposed to chicken.
To make this a vegan dish, you could use a variety of chunky mushrooms instead of meat or Quorn for a vegetarian alternative.
The celery sticks and yellow pepper in this recipe were added because that was what I had in the fridge. You could add different vegetables of your choosing including red pepper, tomato, pumpkin, peas, kale….the list is endless.
A mix of white potato and sweet potato for the topping would make a tasty alternative.
I added some diced red chilli pieces to my fusion chicken hotpot. How could I not use the beautifully vibrant red chilli that Goldhill sent me ; ) But you don’t have to do this if you don’t want that kick.
If you are making these in individual ramekin dishes, they will be perfect for freezing. Dinner ready and cooked for another day!!!