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Chicken Vegetable Firepot

Firepots' are the Chinese equivalent of fondues the main offering is cooked in a central ''pof at the table and eaten with garnishes and side dishes grouped around the central dish. This is a simplified version of a Mongolian dish.

ingredients

6 servings
1 x 2 kg (4 lb) Roasting chicken
1 Onion, chopped
1 Bouquet garni
10 Peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Salt
1 1/4 litre (2 pints) 5 cups Water
175 g (6 oz) Lobster meat
175 g (6 oz) Large prawns (shrimps), shelled

vegetables

125 g (4 oz) Mushrooms, sliced or whole if small
1 Red pepper, pith and seeds removed and sliced
1 Green pepper, pith and seeds removed and sliced
125 g (4 oz) Celery or Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
125 g (4 oz) Canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced or lotus root, sliced

garnishes

275 g (10 oz) 4 cups Cooked rice
4 Tbs Chopped spring onions (scallions)
piece Fresh root ginger, peeled 10 cm (4 in) and finely chopped
4 Tbs Chopped parsley or coriander

method

1. Remove the skin, bones and flesh from the chicken. Set the flesh aside and put the skin, bones and any giblets into a saucepan with the onion, bouquet garni, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and water. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer the stock for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and strain. Set the stock aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the meat and fish. Cut the chicken flesh into small bite-sized pieces and arrange decoratively on a large serving dish. Cut the lobster meat and prawns (shrimps) into bite-sized pieces and arrange decoratively with the chicken. Set aside.

3. To prepare the vegetables, arrange them attractively on a large serving platter and set them aside with the meat and fish.

4. Put all the garnishes in separate bowls (dividing the rice into individual-bowl servings) and arrange with the other dishes.

5. Put the fondue or firepot in the centre of the table and arrange the platters around it. Light the spirit burner and pour the boiling stock into the pot. The food is now ready to be cooked, in the same way as fondue.

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