Steeping crushed chillies, smoked paprika and cumin in chicken stock gives this Central Mexican-inspired hot pot a smoky, savoury taste. Serve it with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes for a festive feast.
For the broth, mix the seasonings in a small bowl and reserve until needed. Heat the oil in a large pan or stockpot on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and ½ of the seasoning mixture and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Then during the last 10 minutes of cooking add the corn pieces. After 10 minutes remove the corn to a plate and reserve. Stir the lime juice into the broth.
For the Avocado Crema, place all ingredients in a food processor. Process on high speed until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Coat the chicken strips with the remaining seasoning mixture and place on a plate. Place the chayote on a separate plate. Then place all the other garnishes in bowls.
To serve, pour the broth into a hot pot or preheated slow cooker. Allow your guests to cook the chicken and chayote in broth as desired. (Chicken should be cooked for about 4-5 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.)
Let each guest personalize their own bowl. Ladle some of the broth with the cooked chicken and vegetables into individual bowls. Top with garnishes and Avocado Crema as desired.
A chayote (or mirliton) is a pear-shaped squash with a texture and taste somewhere between a cucumber and a zucchini. Find it in the specialty section of the produce aisle or in Latin markets. If unavailable, substitute courgette.
How to preheat a slow cooker and serve at the table: Preheat the slow cooker by filling the insert halfway with boiling water. Cover and heat 45 minutes on HIGH. Meanwhile, prepare broth as directed. Just before serving, empty slow cooker insert of the hot water and carefully pour the hot broth into slow cooker and leave it set on HIGH.