Chicken and Mushroom Clay Pot Rice is a picture-perfect Chinese comfort food dish. It has an incredible earthy flavor, courtesy of the classic combination of Chinese black mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms and lily flower. It also has the silkiest chicken you ever tasted.
Autumn must be in the air, because I just had a hankering for a warming clay pot meal, and decided to adapt one of my mother’s best. You can omit the ingredients you can’t find, and even if it’s only the chicken, you’ll have one hell of a chicken dinner!
My mom used to prepare this dish all the time in the steamer (without the rice) and served it family-style. In Cantonese, it’s called “waat gai” (滑鸡). The only literal translation I could muster up is “slippery chicken.”
Basically, by steaming the chicken, it ends up with a great silky texture and flavor. Our family always looked forward to dinner when we smelled it in the air, and as kids, we just loved to drown our rice in the soupy deliciousness at the bottom of the plate.
So as you can imagine…the minute I tasted this, it transported me back to childhood:
Well it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but you get the point.
I’m doing my duty in passing this family recipe from my mother to the next generation by documenting it here but cooked with a twist in a clay pot rice dish.
You can also try out our Hong Kong Style Clay Pot recipe, and I promise there are more clay pot recipes to come! I’m pretty sure this will also work with your rice cooker, but I have to admit we haven’t tried it yet.
The best part of the recipe, after all, is the thin crust of crispy rice at the bottom of the pot that everyone fights over like a turkey tail at Thanksgiving.
Is that weird?
Not at our house.
Ok, here’s how to make this chicken and mushroom clay pot rice!
Chicken & Mushroom Clay Pot Rice: Recipe Instructions
These ingredients are readily available in the dry goods section of your Asian grocery store, and you can compare them with the picture provided below (clockwise from top left: lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, dried black mushrooms).
That said, you don’t necessarily have to use them if you can’t find them. You can just put in more chicken!
If you do decide to use them, you’ll have to soak them in water. An hour is probably enough for the wood ears and the lily flowers, but the black mushrooms will require more time, and you may want to use hot water to speed up the process.
Some additional directions about each of these ingredients:
After soaking for about 15 minutes, rinse them, trim off the woody stems, cut them into 2-inch pieces, and put them into a new bowl of water to continue soaking for another 45 minutes. This ensures they are clean and mild in flavor.
No magic here. Just soak them for an hour, rinse them, and give them a rough chop.
After they’ve soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, trim off the stem (it can be tough and hold excess dirt). Rinse them again and change the water. Continue soaking. You can decide to leave them whole, or slice them.
OK, on to the dish:
Toss the soaked lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, black mushrooms, and chicken with the salt, sugar, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Stir until well-combined. Set aside.
Pour the marinated mushrooms and chicken evenly over the top of the rice—if there’s excess liquid at the bottom of the bowl, give it another stir and spoon it over the top.
Cover the pot and place over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, and then turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 25 minutes.
When the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, garnish with the rest of the scallions and serve your clay pot rice hot off the stove!
The first time I tried this chicken mushroom clay pot rice recipe, I was worried if the chicken would be worthy of the name and the memories.
Chicken and Mushroom Clay Pot Rice
For the toppings:
- a small handful of dried lily flowers (soaked)
- a small handful of dried wood ears (about 1/4 cup when rehydrated, soaked)
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms (small size; soaked)
- 6 chicken drumettes and wingettes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Toss the soaked lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, black mushrooms, and chicken with the rest of the topping ingredients until well-combined. Set aside.
- For the rice, start by combining the rice, chicken stock, salt, and oil in your clay pot. Pour the marinated mushrooms and chicken evenly over the top of the rice--if there's excess liquid at the bottom of the bowl, give it another stir and spoon it over the top.
- Sprinkle the julienned ginger and half of the chopped scallion over the top and cover the pot. Place over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, and then turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 25 minutes. When the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, garnish with the rest of the scallions and serve!