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Improvised Oyster Chicken (gweilo style)

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Before marrying my Indian father-in-law, my Chinese mother-in-law was given a week long intensive course in Indian cookery, all under the watchful eye of her future mother-in-law. A week long course in Chinese cookery was (sadly) not my fate in the run up to our wedding, but I have been encouraged by Gastrodad to learn a few of his childhood favourites, with the promise that I would never hear the dreaded phrase, ‘it’s not as good as my mother’s’. Char kwei teow is the all time favourite (I have never managed to cook a decent version of this, so if anyone has a recipe they would recommend, I’d love to see it!), followed closely by Oyster Chicken (Penang style). A simple dish, for which a good many recipes are thrown up by a quick google search, but none of them seemed to match the dish my mother-in-law cooks, and since she doesn’t have it written down, I have created my own version.

1kg chicken thighs and legs

2 medium carrots

8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms

a chunk of fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp groundnut oil or vegetable oil

100 ml chicken stock/water

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp rice wine

1 tsp brown sugar

Serves 4

Soak the mushrooms in warm water until soft. Cut off the woody stem.

Pat the chicken dry and season it. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken on both sides. In the meantime, slice the carrots, chop the garlic, and julienne the ginger. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the garlic and ginger to the pan, stir frying briefly until fragrant. Mix the stock, oyster sauce, wine, soy sauce and sugar together in a bowl and add to the pan along with the carrots and mushroom. Put the chicken back in the pan, bring to a simmer and put the lid on. Cook for about 15 mins until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice.



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