In Poulet (Chronicle Books, December 2011), Cree LeFavour takes us on a world tour of chicken dishes from Chicken-Fennel Mealballs over Angel Hair to Senegalese Chicken with Black-Eyed Peas.
With 'more than 50 remarkable meals that exalt the honest chicken', it gives us the opportunity to cook a different chicken dish for each week of the year.
I could have kept the recipe i will share today for Tokyo Thursdays .
Sumo Wrestler Stew (Chankonabe):
This is a very soothing, and very Japanese, way to load up on the carbohydrates: buckwheat udon next
to potatoes over rice—but with plenty of chicken and vegetables thrown in for essential touches of
protein and earthy flavor. If it’s one of those nights when what you really want is comfort food—or
you’re planning on running a marathon the next day—here it is, in a single bowl. The ingredient list is
long and a little weird. Look for burdock, kombu, udon, and miso paste in any well-stocked Asian
grocery or health-food store. Your reward will be a stunning, complex soup and an outstanding night’s
2 burdock roots, about 40 g total weight, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
8 oz/230 g udon noodles
2 tbsp peanut/groundnut oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut into thin rounds
3 oz/85 g shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed and sliced
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
8 cups/2 l chicken stock
1 sheet kombu seaweed
One 6-in/15-cm piece daikon or 6 Cherry Belle radishes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp red miso paste
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce, plus more if needed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm rounds
6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm rounds
2 cups/170 g coarsely chopped napa cabbage
2 heads baby bok choy, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ribbons
1/2 red bell pepper/capsicum, cut lengthwise into pinkie-width strips
1/2 orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into pinkie-width strips
7 oz/200 g firm tofu, cut into 1-in/ 2.5-cm cubes
1/4 cup/10 g chopped fresh chives
If using the burdock, rinse under cold water. Put in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 20
minutes, changing the water once about halfway through. Cook the noodles according to the package
directions, rinse, and set aside. They need not be kept hot.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a 12-in/30-cm or larger cast-iron sauté pan or 5-qt/5-l or larger Dutch oven
over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until soft and just beginning to color on the edges, about 5
minutes. Transfer to a plate and add the mushrooms to the same pan. This time, turn the heat up high to get some of the moisture out of the mushrooms. After 5 minutes or so, when you can really smell them cooking, transfer the mushrooms to the plate with the leek.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan over medium heat. Working in batches, lay the chicken pieces
skin-side down in the hot oil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is browned on both sides, turning the pieces frequently to prevent sticking. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
In a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, combine the stock, kombu, and daikon. Bring to a
gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the kombu. Add the red
and white miso paste along with the mirin and soy sauce, stirring to thoroughly dissolve the miso pastes. Taste the broth. It should be potent and a little salty. If you think it might need salt, it probably does. Add more soy sauce a little at a time until it tastes just the way you like it.
Add the browned chicken thighs, the carrots, the potatoes, and the cabbage to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the bok choy and bell peppers. Keeping the heat low, cook for 5 more minutes, then carefully crack the eggs onto the surface
of the barely-simmering broth. Poach the eggs for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the whites set.
Divide the rice among 4 large bowls. Add a handful of udon noodles to each and arrange the noodles to
make a nest. Using a slotted spoon, place a poached egg carefully in each nest. Scatter one-fourth of the tofu cubes into each bowl. Next, ladle the simmering broth, along with plenty of vegetables and a
chicken thigh, around the egg in each bowl. Finish by sprinkling on the chives. The bowls should be
beautiful, plentiful, and memorable.
(* Recipe from Poulet by Cree LeFavour-Photographs by France Ruffenach-Published by Chronicle Books, December 2011-all rights reserved-reproduced with permission)