2000s Recipes + Menus

Clay-Pot Miso Chicken

Serves8 generously (main course)
  • Active Time:45 min
  • Start to Finish:2 1/2 hr
October 2007
Though this rich, intense, homey stew has the depth of a recipe handed down through generations, it's actually a modern interpretation, by Momofuku partner Joaquin Baca, of a Mexican stew he grew up eating, made with Japanese ingredients. And it's the best kind of comfort food: The dark greens, mushrooms, and burdock, braised with silky chicken in a savory broth, make this single dish feel like a satisfying, well-balanced meal.
  • 16 chicken thighs with skin and bone (5 lb)
  • 1 cup dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 10 cups water, divided
  • About 4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
  • 2 (9-inch) stalks burdock root (sometimes called gobo) or salsify (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, large caps quartered
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1 cup white miso (also called shiro miso)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lb mustard greens, tough stems and ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (16 cups)
  • Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
  • Pat chicken dry, then roast, skin side up, in 1 layer in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan until skin is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • While chicken roasts, soak wood ear mushrooms in 4 cups water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse well and discard any hard pieces. Drain well, squeezing out excess water.
  • Transfer roasted chicken to a bowl and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure. Let stand until fat rises to top, 1 to 2 minutes, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to bring total to 4 cups liquid.
  • Reduce oven to 300°F and move rack to lower third.
  • Peel burdock root, and, if more than 1-inch-thick, halve lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Transfer burdock root to a bowl, then add vinegar and 2 cups water.
  • Heat oil in a 7- to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions until softened and beginning to brown. Add shiitakes, ginger, and garlic and sauté until garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add mirin and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in miso and soy sauce, then stir in chicken, wood ear mushrooms, burdock (drained), stock mixture, and remaining 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any froth.
  • Cover pot and braise in oven until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
  • Stir in mustard greens and continue to braise, covered, 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls.
Cooks’note: Clay-pot miso chicken, without mustard greens, improves in flavor if made 1 to 2 days ahead. Chill, uncovered, until cool, then cover. To reheat, bring to a simmer over medium heat, gently stirring occasionally, then stir in mustard greens and simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
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