Entertain Friends, Relatives with this Chicken, Clam Cream Stew; Chef Shinsuke Ishii Gives His Twist on Traditional French Cuisine

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chicken and clams in cream sauce.

When entertaining friends and relatives at home, French-cuisine chef Shinsuke Ishii recommends preparing his recipe for stew with chicken and clams in a flying pan. It is a heartwarming dish with the concentrated umami of both meat and seafood.

Cream stew with roux is often served on Christmas and other occasions. “However, if you make it in a pot, you end up making a lot of it. There tends to be plenty leftover with a small family,” Ishii said. “But with a frying pan, it’s easy to make even a small amount.”

The recipe was inspired by a traditional French dish, a stew of chicken and crayfish, he said.

To maximize tenderness, flour should be sprinkled all over the meat and pressed down with the fingers so that it clings to and thickens the meat.

The seafood he used for this demonstration was clams.

“If you use clams, you can make the dish look more gorgeous and like a feast,” he said.

After stir-frying the vegetables and the chicken, add the clams and bouillon.

When the shells open, the extract from the clams will dissolve and combine with the chicken and vegetables to create a deep flavor. Once the shells open, remove the clams from the pan, as they will become tough if heated too much.

After adding the milk, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. When it begins to thicken, add the clams back in, and the cream stew is ready to serve.

A single spoonful of the hot broth filled my mouth with a strong umami flavor from the clams and mild sweetness from the chicken and the vegetables. It gave me a warm, nostalgic feeling. The chicken was soft and fluffy, and the clams had a nice plump texture. It is a dish that you can confidently make for your loved ones.

Chowder with leftover clams

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Clam chowder made with leftover stewed clams

The leftover cream stew can be used to make “clam chowder.”

Cut the stewed chicken into bite-sized pieces and remove the clams from their shells. Add the desired amount of milk to the cream stew and spread it out while heating the pan. Add cream to taste. A pinch of sugar will give the dish a gentle taste. It has a flavor that children love too.

Cream stew with chicken and clams

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 250 grams chicken thigh
  • 100 grams clams (rinsed, in their shells)
  • 30 grams thick-cut bacon
  • 60 grams each of carrots, onions and potatoes
  • 10 grams butter
  • 2 cups bouillon (or hot water and soup stock)
  • 150 milliliters milk
  • Broccoli, to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Cut the bacon into 1 centimeter strips. Peel the carrots, onions and potatoes and cut them into 1 centimeter cubes. Heat the potatoes in a microwave oven at 600 watts for about 1 minute.

    2. Cut the chicken into four pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour as needed over the chicken.

    3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the chicken, skin side down. Add the carrots, onion and bacon and cook with the chicken.

    4. When the chicken is browned, add the butter. When the onion becomes translucent, add the potatoes and cook.

    5. Add the clams and bouillon and bring to a simmer. When the shells of the clams open, remove them. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes.

    6. When the vegetables and chicken are cooked, add the milk and increase the heat to medium high. Add the clams back in and simmer for about 3 minutes to blend.

    7. Plate the stew and garnish with salted boiled broccoli.