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.
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