Chikuzenni (Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew)

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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons sake, divided
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk burdock root
  • 2 Yukon gold or yellow potatoes
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in 1 cup water for at least 2 hours; keep the water)
  • 12 to 16 snow peas (or 1/2 cup green peas)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cups dashi (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin


Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch square pieces. Put in a bowl and splash with 1 tablespoon sake; let sit for 10 minutes.

Peel and cut carrots, burdock root and potatoes into 1-inch square pieces. Remove mushrooms stems and cut caps to match the vegetables and chicken. Blanch snow peas and cut pods in half diagonally.

Heat a deep saucepan over high heat and add sesame oil. Add burdock root, sauté for 1 minute and then add chicken. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add carrots, potatoes and mushrooms; add dashi broth.

When the broth starts boiling, add sugar. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add soy sauce and remaining sake and continue to cook until almost all the liquid is cooked down, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add mirin and let alcohol evaporate; this process gives a nice glaze to the ingredients.

Remove from heat. Garnish with snow peas. Serve warm or cold.

Special notes:

To make dashi:

Combine kombu, bonito flakes and water used to soak the shiitake mushrooms.

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