Chicken Miso Stew

Chicken
This is really delicious and a change from the normal French stew that calls my name every time the weather gets cool.

16 chicken thighs ( I used 8 legs and 8 thighs)
1/2 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (used black trumpet and porcini instead)
4 cup chicken stock
2 burdock root 9 -inch stalks (also called gobo) Found this at an Asian supermarket
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 large onions coarsely chopped
1 lb. fresh shitake mushrooms quartered with out stems
3 T. finely chopped ginger
1 cup mirin
1 cup white miso
1/2 cup soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 500.  Roast the chicken pieces, skin side up on a cookie sheet for about 40 minutes or until the skin is golden brown.

In the meantime, soak the dried mushrooms in 4 cups of warm water until softened.  About 15 minutes, drain in sieve squeezing out the excess water.

Transfer the chicken to a bowl (when roasted) and pour the pan juices through fine mesh sieve and let stand until the fat rises to the top.  Then take off the fat and add in another chicken broth to get to 4 cups.

Reduce the oven to 300.

Peel the burdock and if the pieces are smaller than an inch in thickness, just cut into one inch pieces.  Otherwise, cut lengthwise and then cut into pieces.  Soak in 2 cups of water and 1 tsp. white vinegar.  This could probably be eliminated but if you can find burdock, use it.  It is standard at any Asian market. 

In a large dutch oven (7-8 quarts) cover the bottom with canola oil and heat up.  Add in the onions and saute until soft and beginning to brown.  Then add in the ginger and shitakes and stir for another 4-5 minutes. 
Add in the mirin and bring to a boil scraping up the brown bits from the bottom.  Stir in the miso, soy sauce, dried mushrooms (now soft), burdock (drained), chicken, stock mixture (4 cups) and another four cups of water.

Bring to a boil.  Cover the pot.  Put in the oven for about an hour.

Serve.  I actually let this sit on the stove for about an hour before serving and it was perfect.  Served with a long grain rice or sushi rice.