Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme

Doesn’t it irritate you when you want to make something in the kitchen and suddenly realize you don’t have a certain crucial utensil? Then your hopes and dreams vanish before your eyes. And you’ll never be happy again. *cue to melodramatic violin*

When I was first married, we didn’t have many kitchen appliances and utensils. We didn’t own a stove for, maybe, 2 months… no proper pots, no toaster… We were pretty careful during those days of yore. Fortunately, we had an electric steamer and rice cooker so I was able to steam up various simple dishes for dinner.

But that steamer was really small, only able to steam about 2 drumsticks at a time. I finally got myself a large steamer, a couple of years later and steaming larger pieces was such a breeze! But what if you don’t own a steamer or a wok large enough to steam in? If you have an oven or a toaster oven in my case, you can just as easily steam a whole chicken without worry. What’s best is you can even get some nice crispy skin along with that silky luscious chicken meat reminiscent of the steamed method!

But if you like having the signature soft elastic steamed skin, you can tent the pan with some aluminum foil to ensure that the steam gets to the top of the chicken as well. Crisis averted :-).

Rather than using just water, chicken broth (even those made from bouillon cubes) gives the entire dish plenty of flavour and even better drippings to go with your rice.
Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme 1

Not only that, whatever you toss into the pan adds another layer of fragrance to the end products. Hence, I added in some leftover thyme sprigs, red onions, potato & shitake mushroom. Oh, and plenty of salt!
Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme 2

With merely these handful of ingredients we get a sort of fusion style chicken instead of a plain ol’ roast chicken dish, which is good in it’s own right but we like to change things up over here, don’t we? Roasted on top, steamed from the bottom.
Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme 3

Because there was so much liquids on the pan, the steam kept the meat incredibly juicy and moist.
Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme 4

The salt crust… OH the salt crust..
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This is one of those eat-for-a-week meals. The kind that I absolutely love! I even had this with a bit of ramen. Just a ladle full of this intense broth is good enough.

Wanna know how to spatchcock or butterfly your chicken? Check it out here.
Middle Eastern Roast Chicken 7

So how would you makeshift cooking methods to get around the unavailability of certain utensils or kitchen appliances?


“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

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Oven Steamed Chicken with Shitake & Thyme
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 6
  • 1 (2-3 lbs) whole Roasting Chicken, spatchcocked
  • 1½ cups salt-free or low salt Chicken Broth, warmed
  • 2 large Red Onion, peeled & sliced into discs
  • 2 New Potatoes, sliced into thick discs
  • 4-5 dried Shitake Mushrooms, reconstituted & water squeezed out
  • 3 cloves Garlic, smashed whole & peel removed
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs Thyme
  1. Preheat oven on 200C or 400F. Set out a 9 x 13 inch roasting dish.
  2. Arrange onions & potatoes on the base of the dish.
  3. Pat dry chicken & lay it on top of the onions & potatoes.
  4. Scatter in garlic.
  5. Rub the salt & pepper all over chicken, both over the skin and in the cavity. Use more or less as required, depending on how salty your broth already is.
  6. Carefully pour in warmed broth and ensure it comes about ¾ inch up the sides.
  7. Place shitake mushrooms around the chicken & lay thyme sprigs on top.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil & roast for first 20 minutes. Remove foil & continue roasting another 25 minutes or until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced.**
  9. Serve with a generous portion of rice or noodles.
**If you prefer softer skin, akin to the traditional steamed chicken, keep the pan covered with foil throughout the entire cooking time.


  1. ah seriously that is the bain of my existence, im always one thing down in the kitchen! definitely inspired now to cook a whole chicken though.. i haven’t done so in such a long time!

    • LOL. It happens a lot in my kitchen too. Then I’d have to scramble around to figure out how to substitute. All the best cooking a whole chicken, Thalia!

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