Chicken skin simmered in miso 雛皮の味噌煮

japanese cake

I made Nagaimo pancake or “Tororo-yaki” after reading the izakaya blog by Mr. Hamada, who is a semi-professional Izakaya goer. Although he has a day job, several Izakaya books (either authored or edited) are under his belt and he appears in Japanese magazines occasionally discussing Izakaya.  He goes to Izakaya almost every night (of course more than one Izakaya or bar on a given night) in Kure 呉, near Hiroshima 広島市 and Tokyo. I get vicarious enjoyment reading his blog. This is another dish I saw in his blog. I just surmised how it was made from his description of chicken skin in miso but I have no idea if what I made is even close. In any case, this was the first small dish I made for dinner on the weekend.  My wife and I thought this was great (An appropriate Japanese expression for this will be “Jiga Jisan” 自画自賛  meaning “praising your own painting”).

Another reason I made this was that I had 4 chicken thighs. I hand chopped the meat and made a portion of the chopped meat into a Japanese style chicken patty dish called tsukune (left upper in the image below). I made the other portion into chicken cutlets (both will be posted). Since I had the skin left over, rather than throwing it out, I decided to make it into this dish. It is a very lowly dish since chicken skin is almost free but requires some preparation. I first boiled the skins in water with a bit of sake for 10 minutes. I then washed them in cold running water. Using a sharp knife, I scraped off any stubbles of feathers and excess fat from the skin. I then cut the skin into a inch wide strips and skewered them as seen in the right upper of the image below).

I put the skewers of chicken skin in a frying pan with fresh water and a splash of sake, slices of ginger and scallion as seen in the left lower of the iamge above and simmered it for 20 minutes or so with the lid on. I removed the scallion and ginger. At this point, the liquid is less than 1/4 cup. I disolved miso (1 tsp), sugar (1/2 tsp), sprinkled Japanese 7-flavored red pepper 七味唐辛子 and simmered for another 20 minutes (right lower in the image above) with the lid on. When the miso broth got thick I removed the skewers and lid and reduced it a bit further until it formed a thick sauce.

This required a lot of prep work but the end result was quite satisfying. The pepper really made the dish by providing a zing that cut through the richness of the skin and sauce. I am not sure how this compares with the original but it is a nice dish to start. It is quite a contrast to grilled chicken skin which is also very common yakitori 焼き鳥 affair.

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