This is an Oriental take on classic chicken stew, with the use of Chinese five-spice powder and oyster sauce. A splash of apple cider vinegar, my "secret ingredient", enhances this comforting dish with a ray of brightness.
1 whole chicken (get the butcher to pre-cut into large chunks for convenience)
1 can champignon mushrooms, quartered (you can use 10-15 white button mushrooms here instead)
3 large russet potatoes, cut to 1 inch cubes
200gm baby carrots, cut to 1cm dice
2 celery ribs, cut to 1 inch dice
2 tomatoes, cut to 1 inch dice
1 large onion, minced finely
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Stewing liquid (pre-mixed in a bowl):
Dash of cinnamon powder
Dash of Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 cups stock
2 cups water
Directions (serves 2):
1) Fry onions in two-thirds proportion olive oil and one-third proportion sesame oil until translucent.
2) Add chicken to sear till browned.
3) Add mushrooms and fry for half a minute.
4) Add carrots and celery and fry for another half a minute.
5) Add cinnamon sticks and fry for another half a minute.
6) Add pre-mixed stewing liquid, and bring to a boil before simmering for 20 minutes. (here, you can opt to remove the chicken so they don't disintegrate during stewing process)
7) After simmering for 40 minutes, add tomatoes and apple cider vinegar, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
8) Add in potatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until just softened. You can return the chicken back into the stew and simmer for another 5 minutes. Salt to taste before serving.