Recipe Compliments of Akiko Okuma, To us, a pioneer of the home-cooked meal:
I learned this very simple recipe when I was in Oxford studying English, just after I had graduated from my High School back in Tokyo. Talking about food, a Chinese friend of mine from Hong Kong said: “You know there is a very simple Chinese recipe. You just toss everything in a pot and boil it.” Really? How wonderful! Thus he gave me the following recipe. Buy one whole chicken and cut the joints to make it into smaller pieces. One big onion, juice of a lemon, sugar, soy sauce, and water. Boil it until the chicken is tender. Serve it with rice. It turned out delicious. I was a simple hungry student.
Well, over the years, I modified the recipe slightly: First the chicken–I took off the skin. Then I eliminated the sugar (onion is sweet enough). I sauteed the onion. I measured the quantity of soy sauce and the lemon juice. I added mushrooms to make it more “respectable” for guests.
1 whole chicken cut into pieces without the skin. (If you don’t want to buy a whole chicken, you can use packed pieces or even chicken breasts only.)
1 onion, chopped
200gr of champignons de Paris (white mushrooms) Cut off the stems, and cut in half.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce (I recommend low sodium organic tamari). Add
more gradually if you think this is not enough.
juice of 1/2 lemon
Sautee the chopped onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the chicken pieces and keep sauteing for a minutes or so. Then add the liquid (water, soy sauce, lemon juice) and cook for about 30 minutes until the chicken is tender. The liquid must just cover the chicken. Toss the mushrooms and keep cooking until done. Once it is ready and has cooled down a little, you can take out the bones from the chicken, cut the chicken into smaller pieces and put it back into the pot (it looks better and less messy to eat). Serve with rice (see below)
You can make this dish a day before. It almost tastes better. This serves 4 to 6 people depending on appetites.
I recommend white Thai rice.
2 cups of rice
3 cups of water
(For 1 cup of rice you can halve the amount of water to 1.5 cups)
Wash the rice until the water is clear. Add the measured water in a pot (preferably a thick pot) and let it soak for 30 minutes. Put the pot with rice and water on the stove with high flame and when it starts to boil, reduce the flame to simmer and cover completely. Cook for 15 minutes. Stop the gas when ready and let the rice stand for another 15 minutes before opening the lid of the pot. Don’t uncover the pot before. Serve immediately while it is steaming hot.