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A different chicken dish!

Sesame braised chicken with shiitake mushrooms and daikon on a white plate.

Sesame Braised Chicken with Shiitake, Daikon & Ginger

This is a great Sunday dish, as it does take some time. It’s a Melissa Clark recipe from The New York Times that I have altered, again. Not much, but I just can’t help myself. But I really do like Melissa’s recipes! She and I must be on the same wavelength. That’s the thing. There are millions of recipes out there. I pick the ones that I think I’m going to love, (based on the ingredients, time to prepare, ease of preparation, will it be fun to make?) If you make things you love, you will serve them with love – because love really is the secret ingredient!

Now I did make a mistake in making this – had to do with not reading the recipe all the way through carefully. I threw in the scallion tops into the pot to roast with the chicken so you don’t see raw scallion rings in my photo. No matter, the dish was great – and different!! We all love chicken but we’re always looking for something different, right? Melissa talks about the daikon radish getting silky and she’s right. You’ll want to crawl right into this dish. Perfect for a winter night.

I also used the stems of the mushrooms but I don’t think I’d use them again as they were a bit woody. Maybe save them to chop fine and use in a risotto later.

I served this with Jasmine steamed rice and some sautéed okra. It was yummy!

SESAME BRAISED CHICKEN IN A POT WITH SHIITAKE, DAIKON AND GINGER – adapted from Melissa Clark and The New York Times
- serves 4

3 bunches scallions (about 3/4 pound)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound Daikon radish, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 – 3/4 cup shiitake mushroom caps
8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 inches ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 whole star anise pods
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim the roots off the scallions. Separate the dark green tops from the bottoms.

In a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallion bottoms, daikon, mushrooms and garlic cloves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the ginger and cook 1 minute more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to a platter.

Pat chicken dry; season inside and out with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil to the Dutch oven. Brown chicken, turning, until the skin is well browned about 3 – 4 minutes on each of the 4 sides. Turn chicken breast-side up. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken. In a small bowl, whisk together the stock, sherry and soy sauce. Pour over the chicken. Drop in the star anise pods. Tightly cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, 40 to 60 minutes.

Remove to a cutting board. Skim fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Chop the scallion tops and stir in, with the vinegar. Carve chicken and serve, topped with vegetables and pot juices.

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