I love saucy dishes, so it is no surprise that I tend to gravitate towards Cantonese food for the majority of my family meal choices. The Cantonese are certainly well renowned for their cuisine, not only for preparing fine, grand and exquisitely cooked dishes fit for banquets and feasts, but also for their great variety of simple, pleasurable, heart-warming home-cooked comfort food.
Here is a braised chicken dish with a delicately robust, full-bodied, oyster and soy sauce based gravy that is so delicious when eaten with just plain steamed jasmine rice. This dish is very easy to prepare, and by the time you are done some 30 minutes later, you should have juicy, tender chicken and butter-soft potatoes basking in a thick savoury gravy. When preparing this dish, try to use Indonesian variety of potatoes wherever possible, or any waxy variety of white or yellow potatoes that do not get too soft and easily disintegrate when cooked (avoid Russet variety).
This recipe serves 3 to 4 persons (Recipe source with modification: ‘Madam Choy’s Cantonese Recipes’ by author, Lulin Reutens).
3 to 4 waxy Potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-cm chunks
Oil for frying
2 Chicken Thighs, with drumsticks
2 Chicken Wings, with drumlets, without wing tips
– 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
– 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
– 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
– 1 tsp Sesame Oil
– 1/4 tsp Sugar
– Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Water
1 tbsp Corn Starch, mixed with 2 tbsp water, for thickening
1. Chop the chicken into pieces and marinade with seasonings for an hour or longer.
2. Heat some oil in a wok over medium fire. When hot, stir fry potatoes for a few minutes until the outside begins to brown.
3. Add the chicken pieces with the marinade to the wok. Stir fry for a minute to mix well with the potatoes. Add water, mix well, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the chicken and potatoes are cooked. Be careful not to break the potato chunks.
4. To make the sauce, turn up the heat and add the starch-water mixture a little at a time until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Remove from heat, dish out into serving bowl and serve immediately.