Chicken and Chinese Black Mushroom Stew

Pong Teh

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings with steamed white rice

Appears in

This rich stew is always a great introduction to Malaysian food. Its rich sauce with mahogany potatoes and resilient mushrooms creates a stew that wouldn’t seem all that unfamiliar to most Americans. A piquant pickle, “achar,” which adds a punch of vibrancy to the finished dish, is a frequent accompaniment. Some families substitute pork shoulder for the chicken, a testament to the Chinese penchant for pork.

Ingredients

  • 10 Dried Chinese black mushrooms (shiitake)
  • 8 (about lbs. / 1.125 kg.) Chicken thighs, bone in, skin off
  • 2 Tbsp. Thick soy sauce (or sub 3 Tbsp. dark soy and reduce regular soy by 1 Tablespoon)
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 20 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped (¾ cup)
  • 8 Shallots, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 Tbsp. Ground bean sauce (tau cheung)
  • 1 lb. (454 g.) Gold (waxy) potatoes, 1-inch (2.5 cm.) chunks
  • 1 recipe Malaysian pickles (acar awak)

Method

  1. Soak mushrooms in 2 cups room temperature water until soft. Trim off stem; discard. Cut caps in half. Pour clear soaking liquid into a cup; discard any sediment. Toss chicken with soy sauces and sugar; marinate 1 hour, mixing once after 30 minutes.
  2. Make Aromatic Base: Blend oil, garlic, and shallots into a semi-smooth puree.
  3. Cook the Chicken: In an 8 qt. ( 8 L.) pot over medium heat, add the garlic/shallot mixture. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom often with wooden spoon until oil begins to separate, 5 to 10 minutes. Add brown bean sauce and cook 3 minutes, until rich aroma develops. Add mushrooms, potatoes and chicken (with marinade); mix thoroughly. Add enough mushroom soaking liquid to barely cover the chicken (add water if needed).
  4. Bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer. Stew, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour. Skim excess fat.
  5. Taste sauce; adjust seasonings to taste. For a thicker sauce, mash some of the potatoes into the broth.

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