Supercharge the flavours at your next mealtime: all you need is a few interesting ingredients from the local Asian supermarket.
50g dried Chinese chestnuts
400g free-range chicken thigh fillets, skin removed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths
40g fresh black funghi, roughly torn
1 small bunch Chinese celery*
2 tbsp chilli bean paste
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chilli oil
coriander sprigs, to garnish
SOAK THE CHESTNUTS overnight in water. Drain and simmer in fresh water until tender (about 45-60 minutes).
When cool, cut chestnuts in half.
CUT EACH CHICKEN thigh fillet into four pieces. Remove leaves from celery. Roughly chop and reserve a small handful of the leaves. Trim the ends and cut the stalks into long diagonal slices.
HEAT A LARGE WOK on a high heat until just smoking. Add oil and when hot add the chicken pieces. After stir-frying for about a minute to seal the chicken, add spring onion, funghi and celery. Quickly fry together for about 30 seconds, then add the chilli bean paste and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
REDUCE HEAT and add the sugar, soy sauce and stock. Bring to a simmer, add the chestnuts and simmer gently for about 3-5 minutes until sauce is lightly thickened. Add the sesame and chilli oils and check the seasoning.
SPOON INTO into a large, deep plate to share, garnish with the celery leaves and coriander sprigs and serve immediately.
* Chinese celery is smaller than the common variety and adds aromatic flavour to stir-fries and soups. If you can't find it, substitute with regular celery.