The photo might not accurately portray how delicious and savory this dish is. The braised chicken is fall-off-the bone succulent due to significant weight in the broth. Savory miso tenured with a bit of chile garlic heat warms the soul, but to keep things from getting too salty one can opt to leave the soy sauce out or add in more fresh cabbage at the end of the braise. The fresh crunch of the cabbage brightens everything up on your palate.
Because there's so much complexity and savory depth my first inclination would be to go with an off dry Riesling. You'll want a bit more residual sugar to offset the heat that creeps up on you at the end. You'll also want a Riesling with a bit more palate weight, especially if serving with noodles or brown rice. The 2012 Sellbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese is a mouthful to say, but it's a delicious mouthful. Normally, an Auslese has a certain level of residual sugar that's supposed to be a step below Beerenauslese in sweetness. This particular wine is more of a lightweight Beerenauslese than a true Auslese. If that sounds confusing—it just means it's a bit sweeter than it would normally be. Together, the food and the wine are like ballroom dancers on your palate gliding step for step with one another making beautiful music that is so satisfying.
When young in the bottle, Hunter Valley Semillon can show under ripe tart fruits and fresh cut hay. Over time, those tart fruits give way to more mellow baked fruit aromas that fill the glass wrapped in exotic white flowers, honey and baked almond non-fruits. The secret is keeping your Hunter Valley sems long enough to let them go through a transformation.
Three wines from the region that stand out (and are available in the U.S.) come from Tyrrell's, Thomas Wines and Brokenwood. Whereas Tyrrell's sets the benchmark with their Vat 1, Brokenwood offers the most affordable example of how good the wines can be coming in around $12-$16.
The 2005 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon is in short supply but if you can find it, you'll have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Deep and multilayered cooked orchard fruits and tree fruits surrounded by mulling spices, baked nuts, asiatic lilies and wet stone call your name from the glass as it sits on the table. You don't have to even hold the glass in your hand to be able to fall under its spell. With enough residual sweetness and medium weight, the wine builds a bridge between baked nut flavors and the creamy miso braising liquid. And with enough acid to clean your palate after every bite hand comes to mouth with pavlovian repetition.
8 chicken thighs with skin and bone
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth (32 fluid ounces)
2 stalks Baby Bok Choy
2 TSP rice vinegar
2 TBSP garlic chile (also known as sriracha)
3 TBSP canola oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, large caps quartered
3 TBSP finely chopped peeled ginger
3 TBSP finely chopped garlic
1 cup mirin
1 cup white miso
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 lb cabbage style greens, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle.
Clean and cut baby Bok Choy into one inch by one inch pieces. Soak in 2 cups water with vinegar.
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook chicken thighs skin on each side for 3-5 minutes or until starting to brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Sauté onions until softened and beginning to brown scraping up brown bits from the pan. Add shiitakes, ginger, and garlic and sauté until garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add mirin and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in miso and soy sauce, then stir in chicken stock baby bok choy (drained), and garlic chile. Bring to a boil, skimming off any froth.
Place chicken into dutch oven, cover and braise in oven until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Stir in cabbage style greens and continue to braise, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with brown rice or noodles and garnished by chopped scallions.