Aromatic Japanese Hot Pot Chicken Stew
8 cups water
8 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 (6-inch) piece dried kombu
1/2 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 whole chicken legs, thighs and drumstick
separated, skin removed
Salt to taste on chicken
1 small head Napa cabbage, cored, and cut into 2-inch chunks
In a large pot bring water, mushrooms, and kombu to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 35 minutes.
Add sake, soy sauce and salt.
Salt the chicken to taste.
Strain broth, discarding kombu, reserving mushrooms. Return broth to pot.
Add chicken and two of the scallions and simmer over low heat, partly covered, for 25 minutes or until chicken is very tender.
Trim tough ends off mushrooms and return them to the pot with the chicken.
Add the cabbage.
After five minutes, or when the cabbage is just tender, remove chicken pieces, cabbage, and mushrooms and arrange in separate piles on a heated platter.
Serve family style. If you wish to finish the meal in the traditional style, serve each guest a small bowl of hot rice topped with a ladleful of the cooking broth.
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe and photograph courtesy of the National Chicken Council.