A wonderful traditional South African recipe for Chicken, Chorizo and Pepper Potjiekos
2kg chicken pieces (a combination of thighs & legs is good)
a little oil for frying
flour for coating
3 bell peppers (1 each red, yellow and green), sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
8 hot Piquanté peppers, drained and sliced thinly (or substitute 2 fresh hot chillies)
250g chorizo, sliced
4 large waxy potatoes, chopped (optional)
2 x 140g tins of chopped tomatoes
250g mushrooms, sliced (I used chestnut mushrooms)
30ml smoked paprika
2 Tbsp thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
You can brown the chicken in the potjie, but I usually prefer to brown the chicken in a pan on the stove. Mix a little flour wth salt and pepper and roll each chicken piece in the mixture to coat. Heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and over medium heat fry each piece, turning until it is browned on all sides. Use a splatter screen as the chicken pieces are likely to spit a little! Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.
Once the coals are ready and the pot has been heated up a little, add a splash of oil to the bottom of the pot and fry the onions, garlic and chorizo in it until the chorizo releases some of its lovely red oil. Add the chicken pieces, potato (if using), bell peppers, Piquanté peppers, paprika, tyhme, bay leaves and a good grind of black pepper. Carefully stir to mix. Then add the tinned chopped tomatoes together with all their juice – the stew should look a little soupy as the liquid is needed for the cooking process. if it looks dry, add a little water or chicken stock.
Close the lid tightly and leave to cook for 90 minutes or so, replenishing the coals as necessary and WITHOUT lifting the lid to peek or stir! After 90 minutes, check the meat for doneness and add the mushrooms. Cook for a further 15 minutes, then check for seasoning and season as necessary. If the sauce is still too watery, mix a little cornstarch/cornflour with water to make a paste and stir this into the stew. Serve immediately on fluffy mashed potatoes or rice.
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