Red Braised Chicken

By Gary Mehigan
Serves  4
Preparation   40 mins
Cooking   30 mins
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Lilydale Free Range Chicken is the star in this spicy, flavoursome recipe from chef Gary Mehigan.


  • 1.6-1.8kg whole Lilydale Free Range Chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
  • 7 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 5cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, deseeded 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 3-4 pieces dried tangerine rind or fresh orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper, toasted, crushed in a mortar
  • 125ml (½ cup) Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 60ml (¼ cup) dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toban-djan (fermented chilli bean paste)
  • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 3 oranges, 2 peeled and halved, 1 juiced
  • 10 green shallots, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Place the shiitake in a heatproof bowl. Add 250ml (1 cup) boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes to soak. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat half the peanut oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish over high heat. Cook half the chicken pieces, turning occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining peanut oil and chicken. 
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Add the red onion to the dish and cook, stirring gently to keep wedges intact, for 5 minutes or until caramelised. Stir in the ginger, chilli, cinnamon, star anise, rind, Sichuan pepper, cooking wine, light and dark soy sauces and toban-djan. Stir in the stock then add the mushrooms and soaking liquid. Bring to the boil. 
  4. Add chicken leg, thigh and wing pieces. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add breast pieces, making sure all chicken is covered with the liquid. Bring to a simmer, then cover and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the orange halves, cut-side down, and cook for 1 minute or until slightly charred. Add to the chicken mixture. Stir in the shallot and orange juice. Cover and bake for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through. Drizzle over the sesame oil and serve.