Potato chicken goes back a long way for me. My late maternal grandmother always made this for us and she would feed us rice with her lovely potato chicken and steamed eggs. Nothing comforts me more than that. Even now, when I make this dish, I can still hear her voice explaining to my 6 year old self what she was doing, how the marinating chicken smelled when she let me have a whiff, how she tossed the chicken pieces in her wok.
I have to say, I haven’t managed to get it to taste exactly like hers. I have to settle with less because I’m convinced no one makes better potato chicken (or prawn fritters or fried pomfret or steamed eggs etc etc) than my dear Po Po.
So for my version of this lovely dish, I prefer to use chopped Chicken Thighs.
I marinade it with a mixture of Dark Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis), Cooking Caramel (Chinese Black Sauce), Sesame Oil, Chinese 5 Spice Powder, Salt & Pepper.
The fingers are the easiest way to get this nicely mixed up.
That is set aside while I get my patatas and ginger slices prepped and ready.
This step is totally optional but I like to shallow fry my potato pieces just so the outsides firm up a little and wouldn’t fall apart in the sauce. I only do this for a minute or two per side over high heat.
In the same pan with the remaining oil, I fry the ginger slices until fragrant before adding my chicken pieces in. I’ll leave them to brown without touching them for about 1-2 minutes before turning them around.
After the chicken has developed some colour, I swish some water in the same bowl I used to marinade the chicken in and add it into the pan.
I then cover and let the chicken pieces braise for 5 minutes before adding in the reserved potatoes.
The cover goes on again. Braise braise braise until the patatas are tender. My late grandma would have added much more water in for more sauce (I should have done that too… oh well) and then swirl in some roux to thicken it all up. I opted not to since I didn’t have too much sauce.
It’s a simple homey dish to make and goes very very well with steaming hot rice. I know. I had tons. And I like calling potatoes patatas. It sounds cuter to me 🙂
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
serves 2 very well
2 Chicken Thighs, chopped
1 large waxy Potato, peeled and cubed
2-3 slices Ginger
1 cup water
1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis)
1/2 tbsp Cooking Caramel (Chinese Dark Sauce)
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
a pinch or two of Pepper
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Mix chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients and set aside.
- Heat about 2 tbsp oil and shallow fry the potato cubes, turning it around to get all sides lightly fried. Remove and set aside.
- With 1 tbsp oil, fry ginger slices until fragrant and add chicken pieces in. Brown the chicken pieces.
- Depending on how much sauce you want, add in 1 cup of water or more. Cover and let chicken pieces braise in the simmering on medium-low for about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes and cover. Let it all braise for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Dish up and serve with steaming hot rice.