Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet & Salty Miso Chicken

For all those times you can't decide whether you want miso or teriyaki... how 'bout both?  Seriously.  I know it sounds a little odd, and I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but this miso and teriyaki-like glaze is a lovely blend of sweet and salty.  Unfortunately, it takes a little bit longer to cook (probably about an hour start to finish, but just guessing) because the sauce has to cook down, but trust me, it's worth it.

For the chicken in this recipe, I recommend using dark meat (I used thigh meat) that still has the skin on because it doesn't dry out and has a better flavor in my opinion.  Not only does it keep you from having to add any excess oils, the chicken fat from the skin adds a wonderful flavor the rest of the vegetables and the sauce.  But if you're trying to count calories or anything, you can certainly do this with skinless bird.  Just make sure to add a smidgen of oil to the pan or else you'll be scraping burnt chicken off your pan for the next ten years... and I don't know about you, but I'll pass on scraping a pan if I can help it.

Sweet & Salty Miso Chicken

1/3 c. rice (rinse white rice before cooking)
1/2 c. water
1 chicken thigh, skin on
1/2 carrot, pealed
small handful of broccoli
1 spring onion
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 small sweet peppers (or 1/4 bell pepper), seeded
8 snowpeas, trimmed
1 Tbsp. miso
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. sake
2 tsp. water
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)
yasai fumi furikake (optional, to serve--rice seasoning)

Mix the rice and 1/2 c. water together in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes minimum.

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  After they are reconstituted, squeeze out the excess liquid and slice into 1/2 in. slices.  Set aside.

Using kitchen shears, snip the bone out of the chicken thigh, then cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, keeping the skin on as best as possible.  Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, then add the chicken chunks, skin side down.  Cook 2-3 minutes until the skin has browned and the oils are released, then turn the chicken pieces over.  Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Chop the carrot into 1/2 in. thick semi-circles, the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and the peppers into 1/4 in. slices.  Add all three vegetables plus the mushrooms to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables have softened and cooked.

Mix together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and 2 tsp. water.  Whisk in the miso until the sauce is smooth.  Add to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Continue to cook the meat, veggies, and sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes, until the sauce cooks down and thickens.

Slice the spring onions into 1 in. pieces and add to the pan along with the snowpeas.  Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the snow peas and spring onions are heated through and well coated in the sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the rice, sprinkled with yasai fumi furikake.

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