Braised chicken with potatoes is quintessential Chinese comfort food. Hearty, wholesome and delicious, it is easy to cook up and easily becomes a family favourite. Enjoy juicy, tender chicken and butter-soft potatoes soaked in a thick, tasty umami gravy over steamed rice.
I was poring through my older posts and this tender braised chicken with potatoes is a hot favourite, even today. But I have to admit, guys, I almost cringed at the photos I took back then!
There were so many things wrong with the photos, I didn’t know where to start! Tone, composition, lighting, staging, basically the whole nine yards just ughhh! Goodness, I really didn’t do this dish any justice!
Finally, I’m putting things right. This circuit breaker we’re into might just have given me the opportunity and time to rejuvenate some of my oldest recipes.
Yup, finally throwing a little bit of love and attention wherever I can. So, let’s take a new look, and I mean this literally, at this amazing dish of Chinese-style braised chicken with potatoes!
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Let me just say this. I am such a fan of gravy and sauces that I often look to Cantonese food for a lot of inspiration in my cooking.
All is well because my hubby and I both happen to love Cantonese cuisine. So in that way, our palettes are congruent which makes my task of preparing our family meals so much easier.
About Cantonese braised chicken
Now, you probably have some impression of how famous the Cantonese are for their food. Travel to Hong Kong, and nearby Guangzhou, and you’ll be totally wowed by the amazing and tantalising smorgasboard of Canton cuisine.
Not only for preparing elegant and exquisite dishes fit for banquets and feasts, but also for a great variety of simple, hearty home-cooked meals. And this braised chicken with potatoes is one such homey dish.
Every Chinese family has their cherished recipes for braised chicken. In fact, you won’t usually find this on a typical Chinese restaurant menu. That’s why we treasure the instances, and memories of when our mothers cooked this for us with love and dedication.
Now, this chicken with potatoes dish has delicate but distinct flavours. How it tastes is ultimately defined by the combination of seasonings used.
However, it’s easy to go overboard with seasonings, especially the sauces and that’s not ideal. Otherwise, the whole dish will lose the little nuances of flavour and will taste overwhelmingly of the sauce.
Ingredients for the dish
The great thing about this is that it takes a pretty short list of ingredients to cook up this hearty wholesome dish. You’re likely to have all of this in your pantry right now. So here’s what we will need:
- spring onions
- Asian sauces – oyster sauce, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce
- Chinese wine
- sesame oil
Tips on chicken cuts and potato variety
- Choose the mix of chicken cuts you like. My favourite options for braising are either a whole chicken cut up, or tastier cuts like chicken thighs, drumsticks, and of course, chicken wings. Who doesn’t love wings, right?
- Skin-on is more tasty than skin off. If you want more flavour, skin-on chicken parts are better as the oils will infuse with the braising sauce.
- Granola potatoes are, in my humble opinion, the best variety to use for braising. But, basically any waxy white or yellow potatoes that hold their shape well when boiled. Other suitable options are Yukon Gold and Fingerling potatoes.
These are just my suggestions, of course and nothing should stop you from enjoying this dish with the chicken cuts and potatoes you love to eat. So, if you’re all for skinless breast meat and potatoes mashed and literally dissolved in your gravy, then enjoy!
Step-by-step cooking: braised chicken with potatoes
Before we even fire up the stove, go ahead and marinate the chicken with the seasonings. The meat has to sit for at least an hour. Preferably, if you’re planning to cook ahead, an overnight marinate in the chiller would be even better.
- Step 1: Deep-fry potatoes until lightly browned. Heat up 1/2 cup of oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is very hot, deep fry the potato chunks until they turn light brown. Turn over the potatoes as needed to brown all sides evenly. When done, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Step 2: Fry the aromatics and chicken. Scoop out the oil, leaving behind 3 tbsp. When the oil is hot again, fry the aromatics (ginger and spring onions) over high heat until fragrant.
- Step 3: Add the whole garlic cloves, and toss for 30 seconds.
- Steps 4 & 5: Put in the seasoned chicken. Sear over high heat till lightly browned.
- Step 6: Add water and let braise. There should be enough water to just cover the chicken. Let the mixture come to a boil, then reduce the heat until a gentle simmer. Let braise, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Step 7: Put in fried potatoes. Halfway through the braising, stir in the fried potato chunks. If the water has reduced too quickly, add more water as needed to braise the potatoes. Stir occasionally, but be careful not to break up the potatoes.
- Step 8: Braise until meat is tender and reduce to thicken gravy. Once the meat is tender to your liking, taste the gravy and season to your tastes. If you love your gravy thick, simmer to further reduce but bear in mind, the flavours will intensify. So if it was just salty enough, it will taste saltier if you reduce further. Alternatively, you can also thicken the gravy by thickening with corn starch solution.
Here are more braised chicken recipes to inspire your next meal:
- Brasied Chicken with Mushrooms and Chinese Sausage
- Braised Chicken in Oyster Sauce
- Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce (Ayam Masak Merah)
- Soy Sauce Chicken
- Three Cup Chicken – Tasty Treasure of Taiwan
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.
Braised Chicken with Potatoes
- 800 gm chicken thighs and wings
- 4 potatoes
- 1 thumb-length ginger knob
- 2 stalks spring onions
- 6 whole garlic cloves skin on
- Corn starch solution for thickening optional
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp thick dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese wine
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar or more as needed
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- Wash and pat dry chicken parts. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken and seasonings. Coat evenly all over and set aside, covered with cling wrap, for 1 hour.
- Peel potatoes and slice into quarters. Peel and slice ginger thinly. Cut spring onions into thumb-length sections.
- Heat up a wok or skillet over high heat. Add ½ cup of oil. When very hot, fry potato chunks. While frying, turn potatoes as needed to lightly brown all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Remove the oil, leaving behind 3 tbsp.
- When oil is hot again, fry ginger and spring onions until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add garlic cloves and fry for 15 seconds. Put in seasoned chicken and stir fry to brown the meat all over, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until a gentle simmer. Let braise, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Halfway through the braising, add fried potatoes. Stir in gently, and add more water if needed. Stir occasionally to braise the potatoes evenly, be careful not to break them up.
- Once chicken is tender and potatoes are soft, taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer a bit longer to reduce if you want a thicker gravy and more intense flavour. Alternatively, if you want more gravy, thicken with corn starch solution to your desired consistency.
- When done, dish out into serving dish. Garnish with sliced spring onions and serve.