Celebrity chef Stefano Manfredi dishes up one of his favourite autumn recipes: chicken simmered with heavenly chestnuts and mushrooms with Asian flavours of ginger, soy and star anise.
250g fresh chestnuts (or 200g frozen peeled chestnuts)
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3cm-long piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 onion, peeled, cut in half and then cut into ¼ cm wedges
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
8 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on
5 tbs dark soy sauce
125ml dry sherry
1 tbs caster sugar
2 pinches salt
1 whole star anise
½ tsp cracked pepper
1. Score chestnuts by cutting a shallow cross on the flat side with the tip of a sharp knife and place in boiling water for 5 minutes till tender. Peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. They’ll peel better when still warm. Make sure both skin and fine inner pellicle are removed.
2. Cut chestnuts in half and reserve. Place dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, remove stem, cut each mushroom in half and reserve.
3. Heat a large, heavy pot and add oil. When it begins to smoke add ginger and onion. Stir for 15 seconds and then add chicken thighs and drumsticks. Keep turning chicken until skin is golden making sure onions and ginger doesn’t burn. Add soy sauce, half the sherry, sugar and salt. Stir well so the soy has completely coloured the chicken. Add the star anise, pepper and the water and stir well.
4. Turn down to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Keep simmering for 15 minutes occasionally turning the chicken. Add the remaining sherry, the chestnuts and the mushrooms. Mix in, cover and simmer gently for another 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes then serve with steamed rice.
What’s your favourite chestnut recipe?