The main reason I loved this dish is because of the chestnuts. Oops!! I just simply love to eat chestnuts because they are naturally sweet and have a nice flavour. This dish is a common home cooked Cantonese dish and quite popular in Hong Kong.
As I was unable to buy the frozen or the ready peeled chestnuts, I was happy to be able to get the fresh chestnuts from the market. You just need to add an additional steps or two to peel off the shell and skin. This adds a slight “quest” to your cooking. This is a fairly simple and yummy dish so I hope you will try it.
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600g deboned chicken thighs (cut into small pieces)
20g fresh root ginger (thinly sliced)
6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
4-7 dried shitake mushroom (soaked till soft)
200g fresh chestnuts (see below on how to cook the fresh chestnuts)
50g bamboo shoots, sliced (optional)
2 cups of homemade chicken stock (you can also use store bought chicken stock)
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoons sugar
Salt (adjust according to taste)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
Spring onions (julienne)
Red chilli (julienne)
½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Blanch the chicken in boiling water for 30 seconds to get rid of impurities. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Sauté garlic till fragrant but not burnt.
- Add ginger and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the chicken and sear the meat for about 1 minute.
- Now add 1 tablespoon cooking wine over the chicken and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, mushrooms, bamboo shoots (if you want) and seasoning and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the chestnuts (I added them at this stage because I have already boiled them earlier.) and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once the stew is done, push the ingredients aside and add the corn starch mixture to thicken the sauce. You might not need all the corn starch.
- Stir in sesame oil just before serving.
- Garnish and serve.
How to cook fresh chestnuts
- To boil, cover chestnuts with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Scoop out a few at a time and peel off the shell and skin with a sharp knife or your hands As they cool, they become more difficult to peel, so keep them in hot water until you are ready to peel.