Hearty Chicken with Chestnuts and Mushrooms

Hearty Chicken with Chestnuts and Mushrooms


  • 250g fresh chestnuts (or 200g frozen peeled)
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 3cm-long piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled, halved and cut into ¼ cm wedges
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on
  • 5 tbls dark soy sauce
  • 125ml dry sherry
  • 1 tbls caster sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • 250ml water


Score chestnuts and place in boiling water for 5 minutes till tender. Peel to remove both skin and fine inner pellicle as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. They’ll peel better warm. Cut chestnuts in half and reserve. Soak dried mushrooms in a hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, remove stem, cut each mushroom in half and reserve. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot. When it begins to smoke add ginger and onion. Stir for 15 seconds, then add chicken thighs and drumsticks. Keep turning chicken until skin is golden, ensuring onions and ginger don’t burn. Add soy sauce, half the sherry, sugar and salt. Stir well to completely coloured the chicken. Add star anise, pepper and water, stir well. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, occasionally turning the chicken. Mix in remaining sherry, chestnuts and mushrooms, cover and simmer gently for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes then serve with steamed rice.

Prep Time

15 mins

Cooking Time

50 mins