Chicken and Chorizo Hoptpot

Freddie’s Food’s regular readers will be familiar with Freddie’s dislike of meals which include mixed up foods or having sauces on them. So cooking slow cooked meals for him is a bit challenging! If I’m going to have any chance of him eating a slow cooked dish the meal needs to contain foods that he is really relaxed about eating. In this case all the ingredients are a hit with him! He did a pretty good job of eating the dish too.

I want Freddie to have relaxed relationship with food, in the hope that as he grow up he will try different foods, make healthy food choices, enjoy food and eat for hunger and necessity rather than emotional reasons. To try and support this there are a couple of things I try and do as the last thing I want a dinner time when we are both tired and I’m juggling the witching hour is a battle on my hands. I don’t always succeed – especially when he spits food out, throws it on the floor or mushes it with his hands! So here are my hints and tips:

  • We have a ‘rule’ that he has a taste of new foods but doesn’t have to eat it all.
  • We talk about why we eat different foods and how they will help in grow and stay fit and healthy. Hopefully this will begin to help him make healthy choices.
  • Foods are labelled always, most of the time and sometimes foods instead of treats foods. This Better Health Channel article is a helpful explanation of this.
  • He helps with cooking and preparing his meals.
  • We have grown vegetables that he’s then eaten.
  • Whenever possible we eat together sitting at a table, always with the television turned off.

This recipe has quite sophisticated flavours so if you haven’t cooked with many herbs and spices you might want to alter the recipe for your children to make it milder and blander initially.  I want Freddie to end up eating and enjoying the food my husband and I do so I have used herbs and spices in Freddie’s meals since he was about 1. I am a great believer that healthy food for children doesn’t need to be bland in fact it should be packed full of flavour and attractive to look at.

This recipe contains chorizo which is high in fat. However used in small portions it will add flavour and spice to a recipe. It is worth trying out the different chorizo sausages available in your supermarket, deli or butchers as they will have different degrees of spice.

Chorizo and Chicken Hotpot
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 6-8 hours in slow cooker on low
Makes: 2 meals for a family of 4

2 small red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 – 1 tsp cayanne pepper
1 1/2 – 2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 – 2 tsp coriander1 1/2 – 2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp flour
olive oil to fry off onions, garlic and brown chicken
3 chorizo sausages
1kg chicken thighs – skinned and boned
2 cans canellini beans
2 cans tinned tomatoes
3/4 cup reduced salt chicken stock
2 can sweetcorn
3 tbsp tomato paste

Place the flour and spices in a clean large snaplock bag.

Chop each chicken thigh into 4 pieces and place in the snaplock bag. Shake to cover all chicken in the spiced flour.

Finely chop the onion and garlic. Fry off the onion in olive oil until transparent and then add garlic. After a few minutes add the chicken and brown.

Place onion, garlic and chicken into the slow cooker and de-glaze the pan with the chicken stock and add stock to the slow cooker.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker except the canellini beans.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add canellini beans 1 hour before serving.

Serve accompanied by rice, tacos or cous cous and a side salad or cooked vegetables.

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