Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Asian-Style Chicken Stew - A One Pot Meal

I love one-pot meals. It not only makes cooking an easier process but at the end of the meal, there are less dishes to wash! One of my favorite one-pot dish is the ever popular chicken stew, only this time I'm making one with an Asian twist. Let's start with getting the following list of ingredients ready:

1.5 lbs chicken thighs, drumsticks and breasts
3 medium-sized carrots (diced)
3 Yukon Gold potatoes (diced)
3 stalks of celery (cut into 1-inch segments)
2 medium-sized onions (diced)
1 cup of frozen peas
4 cloves garlic (minced)
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Vegetable Stir-fry Sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice cooking wine - sherry can be used as a substitute)
Salt or soy sauce to taste
Water

Prepare the chicken pieces by removing the excess fat and the skin as well (if you don't like them). I would cut up the breasts into at least a couple of pieces to facilitate the cooking process. Now remember, all you need is one pot to do all your cooking in. Get your stock pot up to temperature with about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Start by sautéing the cinnamon sticks until you smell a nice aroma wafting through the kitchen. Then add all the vegetables (potatoes, celery onions, carrots, peas and garlic) and sauté until slightly browned.

Remove the contents of the pot into a big bowl temporarily and let's sauté the chicken next. When the chicken turns slightly brown, add the vegetables back into the pot and stir to mix everything up thoroughly. Add the thyme, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, Shaoxing wine and stir-fry sauce and stir again. Let the pot simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes and then add enough water to just cover almost all the contents in the pot. Cover and bring down the heat to medium low and let the pot simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Taste the stew and season with either salt or low-sodium soy sauce. If the consistency of the stew is watery, you can use 1 -2 tablespoons of corn starch slurry to thicken it. And there you have it, a one-pot Asian-style chicken stew.

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