Tohogoshi Narin is a popular, easy-to-make dish also known as “Big Plate Chicken.” You can make it with boneless chicken but definitely try it with bone-in chicken. As the dish cooks, the marrow enriches the gravy, making it more flavourful than if it were made with meat alone or mixed with whole bones.
1kgskinless bone-in chicken, cut into 5 cm (2-inch) chunks (eight or nine bone-in chicken thighs) (2lbs)
½onion, sliced pole to pole
45mlShaoxing cooking wine OR dry sherry (3 Tbsp)
6-10whole dried red chillies, to taste
3cmginger, sliced thin (approx 1 inch)
1-2star anise pods, to taste
10mlwhole Sichuan peppercorns (2 tsp)
5mlblack pepper (1 tsp)
125mlchopped garlic (½ cup)
5mlcumin seeds (1 tsp)
5mlfennel seeds (1 tsp), optional
1black cardamom pod
30mldark soy sauce (2 Tbsp)
2-3tomatoes, chopped, optional
3Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 5cm (2-inch) cubes
water, as needed
2carrots, chopped into 5cm (2-inch) cubes
1green bell pepper, sliced
2green onions, (green parts only), cut into 3 cm (1¼-inch) lengths
salt, to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat. Add sugar and stir for a minute or two until until it caramelises Stir in the chicken, onions, and then add wine. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chillies, ginger, star anise, Sichuan pepper, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (if using), and cardamom. Mix well and let cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in soy sauce, tomatoes (if using), and potatoes. Add enough water to barely cover. With the lid off, heat for five minutes before adding carrots. Keep the pan uncovered and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Skim the froth as needed and stir occasionally as it simmers for 15 minutes.
Add the bell peppers. Stir and cook for five minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Adjust for salt, if necessary. When ready, remove the cardamom pod, cinnamon stick and start anise. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
A version of this recipe appeared in my profile of Rahila David of Waterloo’s Bogda, for my World of Food column for Grand Magazine (March-April 2019).