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Braised Chicken with Quinoa, Shiitake Mushrooms and Greens

Megan Wheeler / TODAY


  • 4 free-range chicken legs
  • ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 25 minutes (reserve the mushroom water)
  • 1 cup king oyster mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 shallots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa, rinsed under cold running water
  • 1 tablespoon whole star anise
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • ½ cup Chinese rice wine or white cooking wine
  • 2 cups mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale or other winter greens, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, cut into thin threads (or 1 tablespoon powdered ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric, finely minced (or 1 tablespoon powdered turmeric)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated unsweetened coconut flakes

Chef notes

This dish is loaded with antioxidants, has a balance of nutritious plant and animal proteins and is packed with micro-nutrients. The ingredients are packed with healthy fats, plus they're naturally low in simple carbohydrates and low sugar. That means no insulin spike, which in turn means less stress on the hormonal system, no white fat production and... wait for it... LONGEVITY!

NOTE: If you can't find king oyster mushrooms, you can swap for button mushrooms.


In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken legs with salt, pepper and Chinese five spice, then quickly brown in the pot. Remove the browned chicken and set aside.

Add the shallots and king oyster mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the shiitake mushrooms and garlic and de-glaze with Chinese rice wine and cook off the alcohol, about two minutes.

Add the quinoa and chicken back into the pot, then add the shiitake mushroom liquid, star anise and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, the chicken should be just tender and quinoa cooked through, add the mustard greens, ginger and turmeric and cook for another 5-7 minutes, adjust the seasoning, garnish with coconut flakes and serve.