Chicken,  Stew,  Under $2

Creamy Homestyle Chicken Stew

Jun 10 - Chicken Steww

If you’ve read Munch Ministry‘s interview with me on Homecooks Spotlight, you’ll know that I grew up eating “a creamy chicken stew cooked using roux, red onions, potatoes and carrots”. You’re in luck, because I’m gonna share this family recipe today!

This is my favourite childhood dish. My aunt used to cook this often. I loved it because it is creamy and hearty.. the gravy is just perfect ladled over a plate of steaming hot rice. Years later, this dish also became Cheng Wu’s favourite (he is my little-st brother. We have a 14-year age gap) and he gets heart palpitations every time he sees this on the dinner table.

I have a funny story to tell about this dish. The siblings and I have known it as “goy see tu” since we were toddlers cos that’s what Ah-mm says it is, and you never question the cook. One day when we were all grown up, we sat around in the living room talking about random things, and the topic came to “goy see tu”. “Why the *** is it ‘goy see tu’?” We pondered, trying to solve the most mind-boggling mystery of the universe. We could understand “goy” cos obviously it means “chicken”, but “see tu”? See tu see tu see tu….. OMG S-T-E-W! “Goy see tu” is CHICKEN STEW! Eureka moment. I still rank this as one of the greatest discoveries of our lives.

Jun 10 - Chicken Stew
(not the prettiest picture, but trust me it’s yummy!)

Ah-mm used to cook this over the stove top. It took constant stirring because of the roux, and because she has a bad knee, she no longer cooks this anymore. My sister-in-law has mastered the dish – she cooks her version in the slow cooker for at least four hours. The gravy of the stew comes from the onions which are cooked till soft, melted and savoury.

This dish can be cooked in the pressure cooker, slow cooker and over the stove top. I like using the Philips All-in-One Cooker. It took me only 30 minutes to achieve the same rich, creamy and tender results (note that actual cooking time may vary due to model, heat source, size and quantity of food. you will need to add more water if your pressure cooker has a bigger capacity).

Homestyle Chicken Stew (

Serves: 6-8
Total cost per serving: $1.89

What you need:

4 chicken drumsticks
1 kg mid-joint wings
10 medium red onions, peeled and chopped into small chunks
4 tablespoons cooking oil
4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
4 medium-large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
375ml water


1. Blanch drumsticks and mid-joint wings in hot water. Remove and drain.

2. Heat up oil in your pressure cooker, slow cooker or pot over the stove, then add onions. Fry over low-medium heat til soft, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion. Mix well, then pour in 125ml water. Add in the rest of the flour. Stir to combine and add another 125ml water. Mix well till it is like a smooth sticky paste.

4. Add in the potatoes and carrots, then oyster sauce and light soya sauce. Add the chicken pieces and mix well to distribute the ingredients and seasonings.

5. Finally, pour in the remaining 125ml water.

6. Pressure cook for 30 mins/Slow cook on high for 4 hours/Cook over the stove on low flame, covered, for 1.5 hours. For stove top, you need to constantly stir it to prevent the flour from burning and watch the water level. Add more water if needed.

Jun 10 - Chicken stew stove

How much I spent:

$3 for drumsticks
$8.20 for mid-joint wings
$1.20 for potatoes
$0.30 for carrot
$2.40 for onions
Everything else from my pantry


    • Joan

      Hey thanks for sharing the slow cooker method. Recently purchased a thermal magic cooker. You think the same method applies to the thermal magic cooker as the slow cooker?



      • Chris-budgetpantry

        Hi Joan – sorry for the late reply. I’ve never used a thermal magic cooker before, but if it functions the same way as a slow cooker, then yes :)

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      So fast, Sandra! I’m also cooking it NOW, stove top version. Hahaha! Thanks for trying :)

  • Mel

    I followed the recipe exactly but ended up burning the bottom of my pressure cooker after 30 mins.
    Do you think my fire was too strong?
    The stew was really yummy but had the burnt taste :(
    I don’t know what I did wrong!

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Hi Mel, ahh sorry to hear that! The flame could be a factor. I made sure to turn it to the lowest each time. And without knowing the size of your pressure cooker and knowing that the food got burnt, try this: reduce the flour to 3 tablespoons, increase water to 500ml instead of 375ml and reduce cooking time to 20 mins – how was the texture? was the gravy creamy and chicken tender enough?

      • Mel

        i’m using the WMF perfect pro, 4.5 litre pot.
        ok i amended the recipe according to your suggestions.

        the pressure indicator did not rise, i wonder if it is because the heat was not high enough for it to build pressure?
        and when i did increase the fire, i opened the lid once i felt a lot of steam was coming out of the valve just to make sure the bottom wouldn’t burn.
        ugh i’m such a noob at using the PC because i’m half paranoid that it will blow up in my face.
        so i think i ended up using it like a normal pot and kept stirring -.-
        i think i need to go for tuition classes on how to use this pot!
        that being said, the stew is very yummy :)

        • Yeng

          I tried this recipe and love it !!! Better than the normal “situ” we always cook and my girl gobbled up happily. But I transferred mine to a thermal cooker after cooking on the stove for like 45-60mins thinking that I don’t have to keep stirring and watch over . But end up also some burnt pieces at the bottom so I decide next time better to just cook over stove and watch over it the good old way 😅

          Cooking it today again by the way. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.

  • Eileen

    Made this for dinner using my Philips pressure cooker and it was yummy. I added more water as my pressure cooker is bigger (6L). Kids had double serving of rice!

  • Ariel

    Hi Chris, just wondering if this is good for re-heating. I am constantly looking for recipes I can cook during weekends and split into batches for weekdays. Thanks!

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Hey Ariel.. what a great question because.. I have been eating this for the past 3 days! This most definitely can be reheated, but I don’t recommend it beyond 2-3 days. Also, since the flour and fat will coagulate/cake/become jelly, best to reheat over the stove and add water if necessary. I have done microwave reheating before – works, but better if there’s some hot water to loosen the roux.

  • Queenie

    Hello Chris, thanks for sharing the recipe, I have a question – can i use 1 brown onion chopped and diced instead of 10 medium red onions, peeled and chopped into small chunks ?

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Hi Queenie.. brown and red onions just don’t work the same way and 10 medium red onions (not shallots!) don’t equal to one brown onion. So please use red onions.

  • Eu

    Have you ever tried not frying the onions but putting everything raw in the pressure cooker and stirring in the seasonings? Mine is the other Philips pressure cooker – the one without the frying function :( Thinking of whether I can make your dish a one-pot meal instead of having to wash up one pressure cooker and one frying pan heh

  • Amanda

    Chris, this is amazing! And it’s still not even done, i sneaked in a taste test, :p! Very similar to what my mum used to make, so it was such a pleasant surprise cos it brought back memories and is so homey! I just moved in to my new place and ain’t the greatest cook around but this was surprisingly easy! Thanks a million!

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Wow, thanks for letting me know! :) Happy that this recipe worked for you… you make want to cook it again this week!

  • Angeline

    Hello Chris, im using Philips All-in-One Cooker too. can i know what setting did you press, for how long and is it on sealed or vent mode?

  • Tan Cheng wu

    With our aunt getting older I’m thankful that you posted this on your blog so that our family’s/childhood recipe is not lost. I’m going cook this next week. 😊