Here is a delicious braised Chinese dish using dried shiitake mushrooms. Easy to prepare and tasty as well, this light dish can be served with either rice or noodles. We used chicken thighs with the skin on and bones in, but you could use any cut of chicken, really, such as drumsticks, wings, boneless thighs and breasts. This was a very economical dish to make – the chicken only cost us AU$3.08 for 8 thighs! Tip: scour your local supermarket’s meal isle on a Saturday afternoon for reduced priced meat. Enjoy!
8 chicken thighs, cut in half with a cleaver
12-14 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup sesame oil
generous grinding of black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 onion, sliced
1 400g tin baby corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed in to 2 tablespoons water
- Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with cling film and allow to stand for at least an hour.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken, rice wine, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt, pepper, five spice powder, and mix well. All to stand for 30 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms from the liquid, squeezing out any excess liquid, and putting all of this liquid aside for later. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard (these are pretty much inedible, but if you don’t want to waste them you could keep and add them when making stocks). Slice each mushroom in to a few pieces.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, setting aside this marinade for later.
- In a large frying pan, place the chicken skin-side down and allow to brown for about 5 minutes, on each side, over high heat.
- Add the onions to the browning chicken thighs and allow these to fry for a few minutes.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms and the reserved marinade and mushrooms liquids. Cover and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Add the baby corn and frozen peas and allow to heat through.
- Add the cornflour and water mixture, stirring well to incorporate.
- When sauce is thickened, serve on a bed of rice or noodles.