Tender Chicken Stew with Chestnuts

What would you be eager for eating, when the days are becoming cooler and darker?

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

What I love to see on our dining table during such kinds of days, is a wonderful hot savoury stew. Imagine this: In your kitchen … a cast iron Dutch oven is on the stove … a silent buzzing sound “gloo, gloo…” coming from the casserole for hours and hours … and this wonderful aroma of seductive spices such as star anise, bay leaves…

Are you getting hungry? 😉

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Before chestnut season was over, I wished to cook a stew with these lovely autumn fruits. The sweet chestnuts go incredibly well with poultry. Therefore, I have decided to go for the extremely tender corn chicken legs. This spicy stew tastes incredible with freshly cooked jasmine rice.

Enjoy! 😀

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients (6 servings):

800g legs of corn chicken
500g chestnuts (peeled, steamed, ca. 30 minutes)
40g ginger (peeled, cut into thick slices)
60g Chinese dates (Asia Shop)
50g spring onions (washed, cut into long pieces)
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
100g caramel water (see below)
10g cooking wine (Asia Shop)
20g sesame oil
500g chicken stock
50g rapeseed oil

For the marinade:
5g sea salt
50g light soy sauce
10g cooking wine (Asia Shop)

For the caramel water:
100g sugar
10g oil
60g water
Caramelize the sugar with the oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Once it begins to bubble, pour in the water, set aside.


  1. Peal the hard shells of the chestnuts and steam for about 30 minutes until they are done. Then peal the soft shells of the chestnuts.
  2. Wash the chicken legs and dry with kitchen paper, bone and cut into 3cm size cubes. Marinate with the marinade ingredients for about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat 100g rapeseed oil in a wok at about 160 degrees, add chicken to stir-fry briefly. Then take the chicken out of the oil, drain on paper towels, set the oil aside for later. Clean and dry the wok. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil into wok, heat up to 120 degrees. Add the ginger and spring onions, fry briefly. Then add the chicken, stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cooking wine and cook briefly. Then pour in the caramel water. Cook until the chicken absorbs the caramel color.
  4. Now add the chicken stock into the wok and bring to boil with the biggest flame. Reduce the heat, add the steamed chestnuts, star anise, bay leaves and dates. Cover with the lid, simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and sesame oil. Simmer everything with covered lid until the sauce turns thick and glossy.

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