Autumn Chicken and Chestnuts

Simmered Autumn Chicken and Chestnuts, p. 423
See the recipe here
Tori to Kuri no Umani

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Peeling chestnuts is a tedious job, but Ms. Shimbo’s method of peeling chestnuts worked very well. And Ms. Shimbo is right that freshly peeled chestnuts are much more flavorful than the shelf-stable ones I used in the chestnut rice (in November). I boiled a medium pot of water, removed it from the heat, added the chestnuts, and left them to soak for 20 minutes. I took 2 or 3 chestnuts out at a time—and they are HOT—and tried to use a small knife to cut the peel. What actually worked very well was my Joyce Chen kitchen shears with the short pointed blades. As directed, I soaked the peeled chestnuts in cold water for 15 minutes, though I don’t know if that was necessary, and they were very good in the sauce.

chestnuts.jpg

Chicken thighs with skin and bones, hacked into small pieces were browned in sesame oil, and then I added sugar. I was supposed to cook it until it caramelized. I think I was a bit too shy about ending up with a burnt mess so I stopped a bit short of the point I aimed for.

I drained the chestnuts, added them to the chicken, and stirred so they were coated with oil. The broth (dashi, sake, mirin) simmered to cook the chicken. I served this with blanched broccoli and rice as Ms. Shimbo recommended.

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I liked the chestnuts quite a lot. But overall, this was too sweet for my taste. Perhaps if I’d been braver on the caramelizing there would be more depth of flavor?
YES! See the recipe and my adaptations here! Great meal!

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