A simple one-pan dish. The sauce here uses the salty umami of Japanese miso (fermented soy) with the citrus brightness of Moroccan preserved lemons. Roasted on a bed of vegetables, the result is awesome!
Iron skillet or oven proof pan.
- 2 lb chicken thighs on the bone, skinless
- Sauce: 1/4 cup white miso + 4 tbsp mirin + 2 tbsp soy sauce + grated 1/2 inch ginger + 3 garlic pods, crushed + 1/2 preserved lemon cut into strips (or, juice and strips of zest of 1 lemon)
- Vegetable layer: 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 zucchini sliced into rings + sliced cremini mushrooms
Heat a very lightly oiled iron skillet (or oven-proof pan). Brown the chicken on both sides on the skillet (about 2 minutes on each side, undisturbed). Remove from heat.
Pile the chicken on one half of the pan, while you layer the vegetables on the other half, Then move the chicken to the other half while you layer the remaining half of the pan. Then adjust the chicken pieces as a single layer on the layer of vegetables at the bottom. Pour the sauce evenly.
Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes (or till the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F).
Notes, hints, tips:
- Don’t worry, if the sauce does not cover the vegetables completely; but try to cover the chicken as much as you can. The medium heat (350 F) does not unduly caramelize. Turning or mixing during the cooking process is not required: this can be done at the end, just before taking the pan to the table.
- Cabbage is also a good vegetable to use here. Just don’t shred them, use larger chunks- they turn pliable with the cooking.
- You can add maple syrup in place of mirin (a fortified Japanese wine used widely in washoku cooking).
- If you find it too tricky to use one-pan, you can remove the browned chicken onto a platter. However, it is not very difficult to carry out the process in the description (see below).