My favorite dinners by far are the cozy stew-like ones. They have a rich sauce or gravy and they contain bone broth. They’re satisfying and they digest well. We often have a cheese plate of our favorite aged cheeses and a green salad or raw veggie plate as well, and sauerkraut or fermented dairy. It feels like a feast. Add a crackling fire and the cold weather outside and we all feel right jolly.
Mushrooms are the crowning glory of this dish. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see all the wild mushrooms I got to choose from, the local ones available in Oregon right now. What treasures. I use them in moderation in the recipe so it remains affordable. I also use dried mushrooms which add a rich concentrated flavor and a silky texture. Plain old criminis are great too, sauteed with ginger and garlic.
There may be several steps; but it’s mostly hands off easy stuff, a relaxed recipe that my kids would like me to double. They wolf it down and don’t talk much in the process. That’s another reason raw veggies and a cheese plate are so welcome: the meal slows down and gets savored as we pass the different flavors and textures, talking and taking our time.
Chinese Chicken and Wild Mushroom Stew
- 1 1/2 lbs. organic chicken- whole legs or thighs preferred, bone in, skin on
- 4 cups fresh crimini or shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 2/3 cup bone broth (see my favorite recipe here)
- 1 cup wild mushrooms, oyster are nice
- 3/4 cup bulk dried shitake mushrooms, or one 1 oz. package
- 1/4 thinly sliced green onions
- 4 T. favorite cooking fat, separated into two 2 T. portions (rendered tallow, lard, duck fat, sesame oil, ghee)
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 inch nub fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 2 T. coconut amino acids
- 1 t. apple cider vinegar
- 1 t. local, raw honey
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the dried mushrooms into a little pot and simmer them in 1 1/2 cups water for 15-20 minutes, covered. Watch them to prevent all the liquid from evaporating during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Pour the mushrooms into a colander and rinse them well.
- When they are cool enough to handle, slice them and set aside.
- Meanwhile place 2 T. fat or sesame oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat.
- Add the chicken legs, rolling them over in the fat to coat. Turn off the flame beneath the pan.
- Salt and pepper them to taste and roll them over again so they are well coated in fat, salt and pepper.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast the chicken until a sharp knife inserted to the bone produces juices that run clear, no pink juices, about 40-45 minutes.
- In a second medium size cast iron skillet or Dutch oven melt the remaining 2 T. fat.
- Add the rehydrated, sliced mushrooms, ginger, and garlic.
- Cover and allow them to simmer and become fragrant over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add bone broth, the fresh mushrooms, coconut amino acids, honey, and apple cider vinegar, stirring the ingredients to mix.
- Replace the lid and simmer over low heat for 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
- After the cooking time has elapsed, spoon out about half the saute mixture into a bowl and allow it to cool slightly, while you keep the remainder warm in the covered pan.
- When it’s cooled to warm or medium-hot, place the mushrooms in your blender and puree on medium speed until smooth, about 50 seconds.
- Stir the puree back into your saute and keep it warm until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve the roasted chicken smothered in sauce and garnished with green onions.
Gentle GAPS Variation
- Cook both the mushrooms and the chicken legs in the same covered pan on the stovetop, allowing the chicken to poach and the skin to stay soft. You may need two covered pans to allow enough room, placing the legs around the perimeter of the pan and the sauteeing mushrooms in the center where they can bubble away and be moved around from time to time.
- When the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes total over low heat, use a fork and knife to remove the soft skin, reserving it.
- Allow the skin to cool with 1/2 the mushroom mixture.
- When the mushrooms are pureed (step 15 above), add the skin to the blender as well, pureeing it in. (This technique is not only very GAPS-friendly, it also lends a gourmet creaminess to the sauce. No one will ever know it’s there; but it will add a delicious rich note to the dish. The photographs I’ve shown here of the recipe are the GAPS version.)
- Continue with the recipe as it proceeds above.
Recipe Note- Wild mushrooms are expensive. You want them to stand out and be special. Saute your wild mushrooms separately, in a generous amount of fat with sea salt, using a lid to create steam, if you don’t want to puree them. Then top each portion of stew with the funky-shaped beauties.
Here are the local, wild mushrooms that my favorite locally owned market is selling right now! All Oregon grown- oh happy fall!