Aromatic chicken with broccoli and shitake mushrooms

I tried another recipe from the forthcoming Stewed! cookbook and it was so lush I had to share it with my lovely readers… it’ll knock your socks off!

This little number was an aromatic chicken stew – a Thai affair bursting with zesty lime, lemongrass and chillis yet soothed by creamy coconut milk.

It’s properly comforting but manages to be a beautifully elegant dish at the same time. If you’re wanting to wow your friends, this is a definite crowd pleaser.

Aromatic chicken with broccoli and shitake mushrooms

Serves 4

For the base
• 400ml coconut milk
• 400ml chicken stock
• 2 sticks lemon grass, broken into pieces and bruised (bash it with a rolling pin)
• 5cm piece ginger (don’t bother to peel it), bruised (as above!)
• 4 cloves garlic, bruised
• 5 shallots, roughly chopped
• Pared zest of 1 lime (careful not to use the pith as this will make the dish bitter)
• 5 kaffir lime leaves (or pared zest of another 2 limes)
• 2 small hot green chillies, sliced with seeds
• Pinch ground turmeric
• 3 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tsp sugar

For the stew
• 4 chicken breasts or 8 thigh fillets, sliced into ½ cm strips
• 85g shitake mushrooms, quartered
• 100g young broccoli
• 200g bean sprouts
• Juice of 1 lime

To serve
• Fresh coriander
• 1 thinly sliced red chilli (deseeded)

In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk and chicken stock. Once it’s hot, add all the other ingredients for the base. Cook on a very low heat for half an hour to give all the ingredients time to impart their individual flavours to the coconut milk. Now sieve the mixture to leave you with an aromatic coconut base. Make sure you push the lumps left in the sieve with the back of a spoon to extract as much of their flavour as possible. Make this ahead of schedule if you want.

Now add the shitake mushrooms and chicken to the base and cook on a moderate heat for 7-10 minutes. Add the broccoli a couple of minutes before the chicken is due to be ready and continue to simmer until both the chicken and broccoli are cooked.

Mix in the lime juice and taste. You might need to add a little more fish sauce if it’s not salty enough, more lime if it’s not acidic enough or more sugar if it’s too acidic. It’s all about the balance!

Pile some bean sprouts into bowls followed by ladles of your aromatic stew. Top with fresh coriander leaves and sliced red chilli.

I used chicken thighs which kept the cost of the dish down yet yielded juicy meat.

I particularly enjoyed bashing the lemongrass and ginger with my rolling pin – exorcises all kinds of stresses!!!

It’s quite spicy, so if you’re not into chilli then scale back the amounts in the recipe. It made Matthew sweat a bit 😉

This recipe comes from the stewed! cookbook which is released in October. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon here!

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea! She lives in West London with her two young boys and yes, her firefighter husband.
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