Chicken Simmered with Carrots and Daikon

Chicken Simmered with Carrots and Daikon

Discover the art of Japanese cuisine with a super fast, easy, and incredibly delicious recipe utilizing the traditional simmering technique. Learn the secrets of infusing amazing flavor into ingredients with soy sauce, sake, and mirin, and explore the power of the otoshibuta. Try the recipe using ingredients like carrot, daikon, and boneless chicken legs for a delightful and quick cooking experience.

I've talked about simmering before, so you know it's one of my favorite cooking techniques in Japanese cuisine. It's a simple and fast way to infuse amazing flavor into ingredients. The secret is the traditional seasonings -- soy sauce, sake and mirin, liquids brimming with savory flavor thanks to fermentation (fermentation breaks down soybeans and rice found in them, and in doing so, releases potent flavor compounds (a.k.a. umami) The otosbuta is another factor. So with Japanese simmering, you don't have to cook for hours to tease out flavor; the deliciousness is already there and waiting, in the intrinsic natural taste of ingredients combined with those amazing seasonings! Okay, enough of this mumbo jumbo, let's get to cookin' with this super fast, easy, and incredibly delicious recipe.

For this dish I used the following ingredients:

1 medium peeled carrot
1/2 pound peeled daikon
2 boneless chicken legs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons sake
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Cut the carrot and daikon into pieces using the "rangiri" cutting technique, as follows: cut on an angle, turn a quarter turn, cut on an angle again, and repeat. Rangiri is great for cutting irregularly shaped roots into uniform pieces (so they cook uniformly). Once you've cut them, place the carrot and daikon pieces in a medium saucepan and just cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with an otoshibuta (a wooden one, or just fashion one from aluminum foil -- make sure to pierce the aluminum in a couple of places so steam can escape). Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the roots are tender. Test with a skewer. If it goes in easily, the roots are ready.

Add the chicken and more water to cover the ingredients. Add the sake. When the liquid returns to a boil, add the soy sauce and sugar. Cover again with the otoshibuta, and simmer for about 10 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through. Add more water while cooking, if needed (if the liquid evaporates - you're simmering in liquid here). Taste and adjust (add more soy sauce or sugar, to taste). That's it. This dish can be reheated or eaten at room temperature, too. Accent with shichimi togarashi, if desired, and go to town!