Chinese braised chicken is big on flavour and promises tender, juicy meat. The smoky flavour of Chinese mushrooms and sweetness of Chinese sausages taste wonderful together. Adding fried salted fish creates unique nuances in flavour.
If you’re thinking of your next grocery trip, chances are you’re already thinking about next week’s meals. If you are, great! Because I have another braised recipe inspiration for you! As always, its all about comfort food! Here’s a wholesome dish packed with bold and quintessentially Asian flavours, braised chicken with mushrooms and Chinese sausages.
With just a little kick of flavour from fried salted fish.
Salted fish is one of those Chinese condiments that has its ardent fans, in much the same way that salted egg yolks have earned a cult following.
If you’ve never or rarely prepared meals with salted fish, can I tempt you to try it in this dish? It adds such distinct savoury and salty umami nuances to the whole dish.
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About braised chicken with mushrooms and Chinese sausages
If you are a regular reader on my blog, you’ll know that braised dishes are my favourites. I like that there are so many delicious variations when you braise something, whether its meat, seafood or vegetables.
And it’s so very easy to make braised dishes more nutritious, just by adding your favourite root vegetables, herbs and spices. Carrots, potatoes, yam, pumpkin, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tofu and eggs – the possibilities are as endless as they are varied!
This braised chicken dish exemplifies how a dish with simple preparation can have bold, sophisticated, yet complimentary flavours and textures.
Imagine tucking into tender braised chicken in the same bite as smoky, juicy mushrooms. And biting into sweet, chewy Chinese sausages with soft salted fish literally melting in the mouth.
But most of all, you will savour the umami-ness of the sauce, deliciously rich, bold and complex in flavour. It is scrumptious with every bite, and is a super tasty gravy spooned over rice.
Ingredients for braised chicken
Notes on ingredients
- Skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings are most flavourful, and become juicy and tender when braised. They have more fats and release delicious chicken oils as well. You can also use a whole chicken, chopped into bite-sized chunks. Breast meat is okay too, but is the least flavourful, though the umami sauce will make up for it!
- Chinese mushrooms. Chinese dried black mushrooms are the most smoky and full-bodied in flavour. Just as good, are dried shiitake mushrooms and canned button and straw mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms also work well, but I think their flavours will be more delicate, and not quite as bold as dried ones.
- Chinese sausages (lap cheong in Cantonese). Truth be told, I haven’t yet quite found a worthy substitute. Chinese sausages are sweet, juicy and wonderfully aromatic, unlike any other. They are usually made of emulsified pork, chicken, or mixed meats, as well as duck liver. I’ll leave it to you to use your favourite lap cheong.
- Shallots. The shallots I get here are the small, purplish Asian variety. If using the large sized brown shallots, please reduce the number stated in the recipe by half.
- Salted fish. If you aren’t able to find these where you are, simply leave it out. I just haven’t found a comparable substitute as yet. Because these are salted, it may contribute to the saltiness of your dish, but not much as only a small amount is used in this recipe.
- Chinese wine. The Chinese wine I use goes by the names Shaoxing wine or Hua Tiao wine (Hua Tiao Chiew). Easily available here in Asia and overseas in most Asian supermarkets. It can be substituted with rose wine or an European liquor like sherry.
Braised chicken: Easy step-by-step cooking
Here is a visual reference, step-by-step, to guide you along when cooking this dish. For specific and detailed recipe instructions, please refer to the recipe card.
- Step 1. In a hot wok with some oil, fry the salted fish slices until golden brown and crispy. About 1 min. Scoop out and set aside.
- Step 2. In the same oil, fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant and browned a little. About 30 secs – 1 min.
- Step 3. Add the chicken pieces, and stir fry to brown. About 3 – 4 mins.
- Step 4. Add the sliced mushrooms and Chinese sausages. Stir fry to mix well with the chicken. About 1 min.
- Step 5. Add light soy sauce, Chinese wine, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Add enough water to cover. Let the mixture come to a boil, and then reduce the heat to allow a gentle simmer. Braise for 25 – 30 mins, or long enough until chicken becomes tender. If you like a thick sauce, simmer longer to reduce.
- Step 6. Add half of chopped spring onions and fried salted fish. Stir in to mix well, and simmer. About 2 mins.
- Step 7. Dish out and garnish with remaining chopped onions.
And that’s it! Super simple, and an easy choice for your busy days. This braised chicken will taste even better the day after too! So, it’s a wonderful option for make-ahead meals.
I hope you’ll enjoy! Meanwhile, take care, everyone and stay healthy!
Here are more recipes to inspire your next meal:
- Braised Chicken with Oyster Sauce
- Steamed Minced Pork with Water Chestnut
- Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish
- Stir-Fried Brinjal with Garlic and Dried Shrimp
- Chinese-Style Beef Fried Rice
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.
SAVE THIS RECIPE!
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Chinese Sausages
- 10 chicken thighs or equivalent chicken parts
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 30 g dried salted fish sliced thinly (optional)
- 10 garlic cloves peeled
- 10 shallots peeled
- 8 Chinese or shiitake dried mushrooms
- 2 Chinese sausages sliced thick
- 2 spring onion stalks cut into 2-inch (5-cm) sections
- salt to taste
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Chinese wine
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 3 cups water or as needed
- Wash and pat dry chicken thighs (or equivalent chicken parts) with paper towels. Set aside.
- Soak dried mushrooms in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 minutes, or until softened. Discard the stems, reserving the soaking water. Slice mushrooms into halves.
- Heat up 2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium fire, until hot. Fry the dried salted fish slices (if using) until golden brown and crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Turn up the heat to high. In the same oil, add the garlic and shallots. Stir fry for 1 minute until fragrant and starting to brown.
- Add the chicken thighs and stir fry to brown the chicken on all sides evenly, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and Chinese sausages, and stir fry to mix evenly with the chicken pieces for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the seasonings, mushroom soaking water, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Let the liquids come to a boil. Then lower the heat until at a gentle simmer. Let braise for 25 to 30 minutes, or longer until the chicken becomes tender, adding a bit more water if necessary.
- When the chicken is almost tender, add the fried salted fish and ½ of the chopped spring onions. Stir to mix well, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Do a taste test and add salt, if desired (note: salted fish is also quite salty). Turn off the heat and dish out into a serving dish.
- Garnish with the remaining chopped spring onions. Best served immediately with steamed rice.