Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton explore recipes using a Japanese clay pot in Donabe.
This nabe dish was made by Takako, the wife of Nagatani-en’s chairman, Yuji, when we visited them in Iga. She blends Japanese chicken stock and kombu dashi for a complex yet clean flavor, but you can make it entirely with either kind of stock if you like. Like most good cooks, she never measures or weighs the ingredients that go into this dish. So the measurements in this recipe are what I re-created from memory. The dish goes well with yuzu-kosho as a condiment.
- Season the chicken all over with the salt. Let the chicken marinate for 1 hour.
- Pat the chicken dry (or rinse and pat dry if there is any blood) and combine with the rest of the ingredients in the donabe. Cover and set over medium-high heat. As soon as the broth starts to boil, turn down the heat to simmer. Skim as necessary. Cover again and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes, or until the stock cools down (about 1 hour).
- Transfer the chicken wings to a bowl and save for another use. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Cold-infusion method: In a bowl or pitcher, combine the water and kombu. Cover and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours. Remove the kombu.
- Heat-infusion method: Combine the water and kombu in a donabe and let the kombu soak for 30 minutes. The kombu will reconstitute and double in size. Set the donabe, uncovered, over medium heat. Just before the broth comes to a simmer (after about 15 minutes), remove the kombu and turn off the heat.
- Season the chicken all over with the salt. Let the chicken marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
- To make the broth: Combine the chicken dashi, kombu dashi, sake, mirin, and soy sauce in the donabe and add the bottom part of the napa cabbage. Cover and set over medium-high heat.
- As soon as the broth starts to boil, turn down the heat to simmer. Add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients except for the mizuna. Cover again and bring back to a simmer. Simmer until everything is just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mizuna and cook for 1 minute longer before turning off the heat. Serve in individual bowls at the table and enjoy with yuzu-kosho.
Reprinted with permission from Donabe, copyright © 2015 Naoko Takei Moore and Kylie Connaughton. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2015 Erin Wolfinger