Chicken Braised with Chestnuts and Shiitake Mushrooms

Author: Canadian Living

Few Chinese banquets are without a fancy preparation of a whole chicken or duck. The rich chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms suit the New Year's table and represent fall and winter respectively. The carrot slices stand for gold coins that welcome the coming spring with riches, and the green bok choy reminds us of summer. Don't think of this dish as only for Chinese New Year; it makes a wonderful main course at any table.

  • Portion size 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh chestnut
  • 16 dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 (3 lb/15 kg) chicken
  • 3 green onion
  • 1 piece gingerroot (1-1/2 in/4 cm)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 carrot sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 lb baby bok choy halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb Shanghai cabbage halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Method

Cut X in flat side of each chestnut. In small saucepan of boiling water, cook chestnuts, 4 at a time, for about 2 minutes or until skins can easily be peeled off. Place peeled nuts in saucepan and cover with water; bring to boil and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Drain and reserve.

In bowl, soak shiitake mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) warm water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid; remove stems.

Meanwhile, using kitchen shears, remove backbone from chicken. Cut off wing tips. Cut in half along breastbone. Cut each half between thigh and breast. Cut each breast in half crosswise. Cut each leg between drumstick and thigh.

Cut white and light green parts of onions into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths; finely chop dark green parts and set aside. Thinly slice ginger and stack slices; cut into diamond shapes and set aside.

In large shallow Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, in batches; remove to plate. Drain off all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat. Add onion lengths and ginger; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and carrots; stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in reserved mushroom liquid, soy sauce, sugar and wine; bring to boil. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add chestnuts, Szechuan pepper and white pepper; cook, uncovered, over medium heat until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, blanch bok choy until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and toss with sesame oil; arrange around platter and keep warm.

With slotted spoon, arrange chicken on platter; surround with carrots, mushrooms and chestnuts. Add reserved finely chopped green onions to sauce; pour over chicken.

Nutritional facts Per each of 6 servings: about

  • Sodium 1037 mg
  • Protein 30 g
  • Calories 481.0
  • Total fat 25 g
  • Cholesterol 105 mg
  • Saturated fat 6 g
  • Total carbohydrate 34 g

%RDI

  • Iron 29.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 36.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 12.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 86.0
  • Vitamin C 65.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Chicken Braised with Chestnuts and Shiitake Mushrooms