I haven’t been cooking very much lately, as I’m trying to clear out my freezer. I’ve been hoarding quite a bit of pre-cooked foods and leftovers, and I really needed to finish them up. But I got a little tired of eating freezer food (even if they’re homecooked) so a few days ago, I took down some chicken legs I had, and looked around for a recipe.
My first instinct was to throw them in the oven to bake. I do that a lot. But I stumbled on a recipe from The Woks of Life for Sticky Oyster Sauce Chicken, and I decided to embrace my Asian cooking heritage and go with it instead. LOL :D
It turns out that this is very easy and easily modified, and for those of us living here in Asia, the taste will be familiar, and the ingredients easy to obtain.
The recipe on The Woks of Life calls for a more sticky coating of sauce on the chicken, and scallions (spring onions). I opted to make mine a little more liquid so I could use it over rice or blanched noodles, and I also added some shimeji mushrooms I had in the fridge.
I did not have any spring onions and was too lazy to go out and buy them, so I omitted them. If you’d like a slightly different flavour, a few sprigs of coriander does add a little piquancy to the sauce, and it makes for a nice garnish :D
I think it turned out delicious, and it took just a little over half an hour from preparation time to serving. I kid you not!
I do find this a little salty due to the soy sauce, oyster sauce and shaoxing wine, so I think this will be best served over hot rice with blanched or stir-fried green vegetables (sawi, bok choy etc) on the side. It’s not something you can eat on its own. I didn’t want to cook rice, so I cooked some soy noodles and blanched some vegetables, then used the sauce to toss through and flavour the noodles, and it made for a quick and easy meal.
I think you can also substitute the chicken legs with chicken fillets if you are averse to eating chicken on the bone (which I prefer) but do note the cooking time will be significantly shortened.
One more note on the mushrooms. I used Shimeji mushrooms as that’s what I had. I find the flavour of shimeji mushrooms a little light, and it soaks up the sauce and gives it a lovely flavour. You could use other types of mushrooms, but do note that stronger tasting mushrooms like shiitake will add a stronger flavour. I’d stick to something light – shimeji or enoki will work.
So here’s my version of Oyster Sauce Chicken with Mushrooms.
A very quick and simple braised chicken dish with Asian flavours. Goes well with hot steamed rice or plain blanched noodles and chinese greens.
- 2 Chicken Legs Chop up the chicken if you prefer smaller pieces or use cut up boneless fillets but be sure to shorten your cooking time
- 4 cm Ginger peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic - sliced
- 1 pack Shimeji Mushroom
- Oil to fry the chicken
- 3 tbsp Shaoxing Wine (optional if you cannot take alcohol)
- 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- White Pepper
- Sesame Oil Just a few drops to taste
- 1 bowl Chicken Stock or Water Enough to cover the chicken pieces halfway
Prepare your Chicken. I prefer to segment the legs into drumstick and thigh to make it easier to cook. You can opt to leave it whole, or you can chop it up into smaller pieces. If using smaller pieces adjust cooking time accordingly.
In a pan, add a little oil, enough so the chicken does not stick and fry the chicken, skin side down for a few minutes.
When browned, flip chicken over to the other side. Add ginger slices to the oil and fry till fragrant and slightly browned.
Add garlic slices and fry till fragrant.
Add the Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan, and pick up any bits you may have at the bottom of the pan. Add more wine if it dries up too quickly but do note that shaoxing wine is a little salty, so you may have to adjust your soy sauce and oyster sauce seasoning.
Then, add the chicken stock or water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and a little bit of sesame oil (do not overdo the sesame oil). Bring to boil, stir and cover, turning down the heat to braise. Ensure your water is enough to cover your chicken halfway.
Braise for about 15-20 minutes, checking to ensure it does not dry out. If using chopped chicken or boneless chicken braise for between 10-15 minutes to avoid over cooking.
The chicken is done with the thickest part, pierced, releases a clear juice. Open the cover and allow the sauce to reduce. By this stage, the sauce should a little thick.
Add the Shimeji mushrooms, and stir through. The mushrooms cook quite quickly. If you prefer more sauce, add a little more water. If you prefer it drier, allow it to reduce further.
Serve hot over boiled plain noodles and blanched vegetables, or with hot steamed rice and stirfried green vegetables.
You can exclude the shaoxing wine, if you prefer. The taste will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious. This is actually quite a basic dish, and a variation upon one my Mom cooks often. It is very satisfying and whets the appetite, especially on a cool evening as we’ve been experiencing here :D
Do you cook anything similar?
I’m quite sure that this is something that features in most of our homes. It’s a very basic, simple, homecooked dish, but one that is comforting and delicious! Share your variations with me – I’m sure you have them :)