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.
80 ml to 125 ml (1/3 to ½ cup) peanut oil, as needed
15 ml (1 tablespoon) sugar
1 kg (2 lbs) skinless bone-in chicken, cut into 5 cm (2-inch) chunks (eight or nine bone-in chicken thighs)
½ onion, sliced from pole to pole
45 ml (3 tablespoons) Shaoxing cooking wine OR dry sherry
6 to 10 whole dried chillies, to taste
3 cm (1¼-inch) ginger, sliced thin
1 or 2 star anise pods, to taste
10 ml (2 teaspoons) whole Sichuan peppercorns
5 ml (1 teaspoon) black pepper
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped garlic
1 cinnamon stick
5 ml (1 teaspoon) cumin seeds
5 ml (1 teaspoon) fennel seeds (optional)
1 black cardamom pod NOT green or white cardamom
30 ml (2 tablespoons) dark soy sauce
2 to 3 chopped tomatoes (optional)
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 5 cm (2-inch) chunks
Water, as needed
2 carrots, cut into 5 cm (2-inch) chunks
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 green onions (green parts only), cut into 3 cm (1¼-inch) lengths
Salt, to taste
Flat noodles, naan, or rice
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.