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This is a past article published in Hiragana Times. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vise versa, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier. [Magazine Sample] [Subscription Page]

CHIKUZENNI (Japanese Braised Chicken and Vegetables)

 

Ingredients [Serves 2]

  • 1 (100g) chicken thigh with skin
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 50g pre-cooked bamboo shoots
  • 50g lotus root
  • 50g carrot
  • 50g burdock
  • 50g konnyaku
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 field peas
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

(A) 1/2 cup stock made from 2g granulated bonito and kelp stock (available at stores) + stock of dried shiitake mushrooms + water
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp mirin cooking sake
1 tbsp sake

  • Sogi-giri: It starts from the left. Tip the knife toward the right and cut with the tip of the knife at a 45°angle.
  • Ichou-giri: Cutting into quarters (the same shape of ginkgo leaves).
  • Ran-giri: Cutting a long item diagonally and turning it 90 degrees to repeat it.
  • Otoshi-buta: In making boiled and seasoned food, a lid that is one size smaller than the pot is directly placed on the contents. If otoshi-buta is not available, cut aluminum foil into the size of the pot, make a hole in the center and use it as a substitute lid to let steam out.
  1. With the knife flat, slice the chicken from the left (sogi-giri style) into 3-cm pieces. Pour sake over and rub it into the meat.
  2. Cut the bamboo into 4 ~ 5cm parts then quarter them. Cut lotus root into 1-cm slices then quarter (ichou-giri) them. Roughly chop up the carrot and the burdock. Soak the lotus root and burdock in water.
  3. Cut konnyaku into bite-size pieces and boil.
  4. In order to reconstitute the dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in 1/3 cup of cold water for half an hour. Use the shiitake stock to make the whole stock (with granulated stock and water). Remove stalks from the mushrooms and slice them into two pieces sogi-giri style.
  5. Remove the string from the peas. Boil the peas quickly. Cut the big peas into 3cm pieces.
  6. Put sesame oil in the pot and heat it. Put the vegetables (with the exception of field peas), mushrooms, konnyaku in the pot and stir-fry them on a high heat. When the oil has spread to all ingredients, add the chicken and continue stir-frying.
  7. When the overall color of the chicken has turned white, add seasoning (A). When it has come to a boil, remove the scum from the surface of the liquid. Put a small lid (otoshi-buta) directly on the food being cooked and boil over a medium flame for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add soy sauce, move the lid of the pot slightly and boil for 15 ~ 20 minutes.
  9. When the broth has reduced, take off both lids (otoshi-buta and pot lid) and intensify the heat slightly. Stir the pot.
  10. Serve generously on a deep platter. Decorate with field peas.

[From January Issue 2010]


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