This is a favourite dish at our house because it's sweet and salty and easy to prepare. On this particular day, the chicken was actually braised with eddoes because the taros at T&T were terrible on the day I was there. I didn't want eddoes because they are small and annoying to peel and not nearly as tasty as taro root is... but when the taro at the supermarket looks as if it was left over from CNY then you've got to make some concessions.
Some pre-prep that needs to be done... wash and peel and cut the eddoes. They are a bit caustic so you may want to wear gloves or coat your hands in a little oil while you are peeling them.
And soak the dried mushrooms in some water. These are dried chinese mushrooms 花菇 but you could also use dried shiitake mushrooms, or in a pinch fresh portobellos.
I like using a whole chicken that I've separated into thighs, drums and breasts (cut into smaller pieces), reserving the back and wings for other uses. But you could easily use only thighs, only drums, boneless pieces, etc. The recipe does taste best with skin-on, bone-in pieces since the marrow really adds flavour during the slow braising and the skin is just plain tasty. The only cut I wouldn't recommend is skinless, boneless breast because it would really dry out in the soy sauce.
I start by browning the chicken on both sides in a small bit of oil. This step is not really necessary if you're using pieces that are skinless because we're not trying to seal the meat here... it's just to get that nice fried chicken taste :)
Next, I remove the chicken to a plate while I deglaze the pot with a bit of sake or rice wine. When the pot is scraped all clean, I throw in the taro, chicken and mushrooms and cover with a mixture of soy, sugar, mirin and water.
Let it simmer for an hour or two and then I threw in some of my frozen CSA broccoli for some greens.
A few more minutes on the stove to soften up the already blanched broccoli, get the rice out of the cooker and dinner is served.
For a little extra flavour, we serve it with some julienned scallions. Nom-nom.
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Taro Serves: 4 (with leftovers)
1 large chicken (~5 lbs), cut into pieces (back and wings reserved to other uses)
2 lbs taro (eddoes), peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
8 dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted and stems removed
1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces *other greens like bok choy could be used as well
1/4 cup sake or rice wine
1/2 cup soy sauce (shoyu)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
- Combine soy sauce, sugar and mirin and set aside.
- Brown the chicken on all skin sides in a large dutch oven. Remove from the pot and deglaze with the sake/rice wine.
- Return the chicken to the pot along with the taro (eddoes) and mushrooms.
- Pour soy sauce mixture into pot and add enough water to mostly cover the ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for one or two hours.
- Add in broccoli (or other greens) and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- If the sauce seems too watery, remove the lid and simmer for 15 minutes or so, uncovered.
- Garnish with julienned scallions and serve with rice.