【Ingredients】 (6 Servings)
Chicken thighs (鶏もも肉 / Tori no momoniku) ……1 (250g)
Carrots (にんじん / Ninjin) ……1/2 (90g)
Burdock root (ごぼう / Gobō) ……1/2 (80g)
Lotus root (れんこん / Renkon) ……1/2 (100g)
Kon-nyaku (こんにゃく / Kon-nyaku) ……1/2 (100ｇ)
Dried shītake (干しいたけ / Hoshi shītake) ……3 (Rehydrate with 100ml of water)
Snow peas (絹さや / Kinu saya)……6
Sesame oil (ごま油 / Goma-abura) ……1tbsp
Soup stock (だし汁/ Dashijiru) ……200ml
Mirin (みりん / Mirin) ……90ml
Soy sauce (しょうゆ / Shōyu) ……1 1/2 tbsp
Pickled plum (梅干 / Umeboshi)……1
【How to Make】
① Rehydrate the dried shītake by placing them in 100ml of water. When the shītake have rehydrated, save the water for later use. Cut the shītake into quarters, but do this by tilting the knife blade a little to the left or right, so that you cut down at an angle. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces. Skin the carrot and cut the half you are going to use into rounds about 1 cm thick. Use a plum-flower die to cut out flower shapes from the carrot rounds. Rinse the dirt off of the burdock root. Rough cut it by making a diagonal cut, turning the root a bit, making another diagonal cut, and repeating until you finish the root. Place the cut burdock root in water for about 1 minute to prevent it from becoming bitter later. Skin the lotus root and rough cut it as you did the burdock root and then place the pieces into a bowl with 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar (neither of which is included in the ingredient list) for about 10 seconds. Use a rolling pin or something similar to beat the kon-nyaku a few times, dispersing the blows across the surface, to soften it. Once it is softened, cut it into 2cm cubes. Place the snow peas in boiling water (with a pinch of salt) for about 5 seconds and then remove them to a bowl of water to cool them. Now cut the snow peas into leaf shapes. Do this by cutting a V shape out of both ends of each snow pea and then cutting the snow pea in half at a diagonal.
② Add the sesame oil to a pot and place the pot on medium heat. Start frying the chicken. Once the surface of the meat whitens, add the burdock root, lotus root, kon-nyaku, and shītake and continue frying until the vegetables soften.
③ Add the stock, the water left over from rehydrating the shītake, mirin, umeboshi, and carrots, and bring to a boil. Skim whatever foam develops. Once the pot comes to a boil, cover it, reduce to low heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, cover again and simmer until you have only about 1 cm of water left, then turn off the heat.
④ Leave the pot covered for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors mix.
⑤ Serve in bowls and decorate with the snow peas you cut into leaf shapes.
【Significance as Osechi Ryori】
Iridori (いり鶏 or炒り鶏) is a type of simmered dish. Simmered dishes are typically made by simply simmering vegetables and other ingredients in a stock with soy sauce, mirin, sake, and other seasonings. Iridori, though, is different because chicken is first fried and then simmered together with other ingredients. Iridori is also called chikuzen-ni (筑前煮) owing to its roots as a local dish from Chikuzen, the ancient name for the area now comprised of the northern and western parts of Fukuoka Prefecture. Iridori is now not only an everyday dish but also a common element in traditional New Year’s Day meals.