Chicken w/Umeboshi & Shiso
Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums) and shiso is a natural and traditional combination in Japan (especially in sushi), but the sauteed onions blended into the mixture give it a new and satisfying depth that permeates the chicken. Wonderful with hot rice, miso soup, and a small flask of chilled sake.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for the baking dish
- 1 large onion, minced
- sea salt
- fresh coarsely ground black pepper
- 10 umeboshi, pitted
- 20 shiso leaves, chopped, 1 tablespoon reserved
- splash of sake
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a heavy skillet over high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the onion, and liberally salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Place the onion in the blender and add the umeboshi, shiso, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and blend (also add as much sake as the blender needs to do its work). Reserve about 3 tablespoons of this mixture in a small bowl.
In the same skillet, heat up the 2 remaining tablespoons of oil over maximum heat and fry the chicken until brown spots begin to appear. Transfer the chicken and the blended onion mixture to a large bowl and mix.
Apply or spray some olive oil to a baking dish, transfer the chicken to it, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, mix the reserved sauce through it, and return it to the oven for another few minutes before serving.
Serve on a warm plate, topped off with the chopped shiso.