Fragrant and deeply flavorful Chinese chicken stew that's super easy to put together. Tender chicken plus potatoes that absorb all the essence from the stew make this dish extra satisfying. Add some noodles and you have a simple and deliciously hearty meal!
This chicken stew is one of our family's recent favorite dish. The flavorful and comforting chicken stew is especially great for a cold winter night. Don't let the long ingredient list scare you, it's actually very quick and easy to put together. Even those without much cooking experience should be able to make this.
If you like this dish, make sure you also try my Taiwanese beef noodle soup, and pressure cooker Chinese beef stew with carrots and daikon.
Why You Should Try This Recipe?
- This recipe is very easy to make, even a beginner can follow the instructions here to make something that tastes amazing.
- The ingredients are cheap and easy to gather.
- The leftovers store and reheat very well, you can easily scale this recipe up and be set for a number of meals for the next few days.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Chicken drumsticks - chicken drumsticks work very well in stews, but you can also use other parts of the chicken for this recipe (with bone and skin for better flavor).
- Spices - I use cinnamon stick, star anise and bay leaves. If you don't have cinnamon stick you can add a pinch of cinnamon powder instead.
- Dark soy sauce - mainly for color, you can skip this if you don't have it.
- Tomato paste - can be replaced with ketchup if you don't have it.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 - Toss chicken with salt and pepper and let it sit for 15 minutes. It will be even better if you can do this a few hours or the night before.
Step 2 - Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium low heat and cook ginger, garlic and spices for about 2 minutes until it's aromatic.
Step 3 - Add chicken drumsticks, cook for 1 minute before flipping and cooking another minute.
Step 4 - Add all the seasonings, stir and cook for 30 seconds before adding water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and maintain a gentle boil for 30 minutes.
Step 5 - Add potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes or until soft, and that's it!
This chicken stew goes very well with noodles, especially with wide wheat noodles. If I have time I will make my own hand pulled noodles or hand torn noodles, otherwise I just use store bought knife-cut noodles (刀削麵) like the one shown in the picture below.
Tips and Tricks
- Using good quality chicken is the key to making this dish delicious. Try to use free range / pasture raised chicken or the best quality you can afford.
- I prefer leaving the garlic skin on when making stew to prevent the garlic from breaking apart and muddling up the broth.
- I usually serve this stew with wide wheat noodles; however, you can also enjoy it with rice. If you would like to serve it with rice, you can cook it without the lid in the last 10 minutes to reduce the broth a little bit.
The spices give this dish a nice fragrance; however, you can omit them if you don't like the smell. It will still be tasty with the aroma from ginger, garlic and scallion.
Onion, carrots and black wood ear mushrooms (pre-soak if it's dried) also go very well with the stew.
Don't Forget to Try
Chinese Chicken Stew with Potatoes
For the Chicken Stew
- 1.5-2 lbs chicken drumstick, about 6 chicken drumsticks
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 slices ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, with or without peel
- 2 stalks scallion , cut into 4-5 sections
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaf
- 1.5 inch cinnamon stick , or a pinch of cinnamon powder
- 3 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potato, peel and cut to 1-1½" cubes
- 3 servings knife-cut noodle or other kinds of noodle of your choice.
- chili oil
- chopped scallion
Marinate the Chicken
- Toss chicken drumstick with salt and white pepper powder and let it sit for 15 minutes in room temperature. If you have time, it will be even better to do this for a few hours or overnight.
Make the Stew
- Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium low heat (I use a 4 qt one), add ginger, garlic, scallion, star anise, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Cook and stir until aromatic and the scallions begin to brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Adjust the heat to medium, add in chicken and cook for 1 minute before flipping and cooking another minute.
- Add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add water, cover and pot and bring it to a boil before turning the heat down to low and maintaining a gentle boil for 30 minutes.
- Submerge the potatoes in the stew and cook for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- When the stew is almost done, cook noodles according to the instruction on the package.
- Add noodles, chicken, potatoes and broth in a bowl, drizzle some chili oil if using, top with some chopped scallion and enjoy!