Chicken And Chestnuts Stew Recipe 栗子焖鸡食谱

Stewed Chicken With Chestnuts is not only delicious, it is also nutritious! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chestnuts can strengthen our spleen, stomach and kidneys. However, one can suffer indigestion if too many chestnuts are consumed. Always eat in moderation… Yes, even the supposedly good-for-the-body type of food!

Chestnuts are warming, meaning they possess “heaty” properties and thus can improve circulation. TCM considers the kidneys which are located on the lower back to affect our bones, knees and ankles. If the kidney’s Qi (a.k.a. chi or energy) is sufficient, it will relay that positive energy and blood to these parts of the body and make them stronger. We also enjoy more flexibility and are healthier due to better blood circulation and Qi transported to those mentioned areas.

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Chicken, chestnuts and ginger are the primary ingredients in this stew but I have added a few more aromatics to enhance the flavour of this dish.

Chicken And Chestnuts Stew Recipe 栗子焖鸡食谱
(serves 2 – 4 persons, depending on appetite, served as main course or as part of multiple communal dishes)
Ingredients:
½ large-size Chicken, bone-in, chopped into bite-size pieces.
300g Chestnuts (see prep work in Method).
2 thin slices Old Ginger.
3 cloves Garlic, lightly bashed, optional.
3 Shallots, sliced thinly, optional.
2 stalks Scallion, sectioned into 2-inch lengths, optional.
1 Chilli Padi, optional (deseed if using).
1 tablespoon Groundnut Oil (or Vegetable Oil).
300ml Water for stewing, more if necessary.

Marinade for Chicken:
2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce.
2 teaspoons Dark Soy Sauce.
1 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce.
1 teaspoon Sugar, optional.
¼ teaspoon Salt (I used pink Himalayan).
A few dashes of White Pepper Powder (I added a couple twist of freshly ground black peppercorns).
1 teaspoon Hua Tiao Chiew (Chinese wine), optional.
1 heaped teaspoon Cornflour.
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil.

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It is best to stew this in a claypot but since I do not have that as mentioned in my Claypot rice recipe post, I had used a wok instead.

It is best to stew this in a claypot but since I do not have that as mentioned in my Claypot Chicken Rice Recipe post, I had used a wok instead.

Method:
Season the chicken for at least half an hour and then add sesame oil. Let it marinate for another half an hour before using.

Prep work for Chestnuts: Remove the hard shells and boil the chestnuts for 30 minutes. Discard water, peel the membrane and keep aside for use.

1. Heat 1 tablespoon groundnut oil in claypot (I don’t have claypot so I used wok) and put in the marinated chicken pieces skin side down to brown them.

2. When chicken skin is browned lightly. The chicken will absorb the oil. Stir-fry until the oil exudes out again.

3. Push chicken pieces to the sides of the claypot or wok and add ginger, sliced shallots. Continue to stir-fry till the aromatics are fragrant. Add crushed garlic to the chicken and fry till they turned opaque. Add the *chestnuts.

* I’d used packaged ready-to-eat chestnuts so I skipped the preparation work only put them into the wok after 15 minutes of stewing the chicken and continue to stew for another 15 – 20 minutes. My chicken pieces were small. In other words, use taste judgement – simmer until chicken and chestnuts are tender!

4. Add water to the chicken until they are submerged and bring to the boil. Once it comes to a fast boil, reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid on. Check and stir the chicken every now and then, to prevent burnt. Stew for about 40 – 60 minutes, or until chicken and chestnuts are tender. Add more water if necessary during the stewing process.

5. Once chicken and chestnuts are tender, adjust final seasoning. Add sectioned scallions and turn off heat.

6. Serve hot with plain rice.

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The gravy goes very well with plain rice.

Happy cooking, eating and bonding! 🙂

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