Added by chrisnw6 | Sat 05 Feb 2011 @ 08:14
This is an amazing dish I discovered when visiting China last year. It comes from the Xinjiang region in China and makes brilliant use of the spices that passed through the region on the the Silk Road. It is a chicken and vegetable hot pot. But what makes it really special is the whole spices that add an amazing depth of flavour. I have suggested quantities, but feel free to experiment with different amounts to make the dish your own. Some people use beer rather than water for a slightly deeper flavour. It should be served on a serving platter (the \'big plate\') on top of flat noodles or naan bread to mop up the tasty juices. This recipe serves 4 people.
1 whole chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces with bones left in
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 white onion, sliced
2 large firm tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
1 red and 1 green pepper (chinese variety if you can get them), seeded and chopped
4 whole dried chillies
1 tbsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
4 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 tsp white pepper powder
2 tsp cumin powder
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally
2cm fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
1 small bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp salt to taste
250g fresh flat noodles or naan bread to serve
Heat some oil in a wok on high heat.
Add the chillies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry for about a minute until fragrant.
Add the rest of the whole spices (star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves and cumin seeds), spring onion and sliced ginger.
Stir-fry for another minute or two, taking care not to burn.
Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry until golden.
Add potato and stir-fry until lightly browned then add carrot and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.
Add white pepper and cumin powder. Cover with water (or beer) and add salt to taste.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile cook the flat noodles and refresh in cold water. Or warm the naan bread.
Once the potatoes are just tender, add the tomatoes, peppers and onion.
Simmer for 5 minutes until tomatoes and onion are just cooked through.
Check and adjust seasoning.
Put the noodles or naan bread on a serving platter.
Pile on the chicken and vegetables.
Pour on the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the coriander leaves on top to serve.