My version of chicken stew has more vegetables than meat. Actually, it is more of a potato stew. The kids love their potatoes. If preparing for serious carnivores, top up more meat. I honestly think that the amount of meat here is pathetic, but I also hate to have leftovers.
Stews are particularly great to make for Friday dinners; using whatever is left in the fridge, empty it out and start a brand new week with fresh stock of groceries. The base ingredients are carrots, potatoes and chicken meat. I have also tried clearing celery, firm tofu, zucchini and lotus roots with this dish, they tweak the taste of the finished product slightly, but all in a nice way.
On this particular day, I happened to have some shitake mushrooms. So into the stew they go.
BASIC CHICKEN STEW
- 1 chicken breast, chopped into bite size - 4 medium potatoes, peel + cut into cubes - 1/2 small carrot, peel + cut into cubes - 4 shitake mushrooms, wash + chop into quarters - 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely - 2 tablespoons cooking oil - 2 cup hot water - 1.5 tablespoon light soy sauce - 2 tablespoon oyster sauce - dash of pepper + sesame oil, to taste - for garnish: green portion of spring onion, chopped
01. Heat up a french oven over medium fire, pour in the oil and fry chopped garlic until fragrant.
02. Add in the chicken breast meat, and cook until they turn white and opaque.
03. Add in chopped potatoes and carrots, stir fry for about 1 minute.
04. Pour in the soy sauce and oyster sauce, and mix the sauce with the ingredients well with a large spoon.
05. Add in the hot water, and bring to a rolling boil.
06. Reduce heat to low, cover the french oven and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the water is reduced to a thick gravy.
07. 5 minutes before turning off the fire, sprinkle the shitake mushrooms on top and let the steam cook the mushroom.*
08. Turn off heat, add a dash of pepper and sesame oil, garnish with chopped spring onions, serve immediately.
++ NOTES TO SELF ++
Fresh shitake mushrooms shrink to an impossible size during simmering. So I only add them towards the end of cooking, usually 5 minutes before the stew is done.