Dr. Clark's parting words to the students who came to see him off at a place known as "Hitsujigaoka" 羊ヶ丘 or "Sheep hill" in Sapporo was "Boys, Be ambitious". This became the motto for Hokkaido University as well as general encouragement for young boys in Japan. (The entire phrase was "Boys, Be ambitious like this old man". Thankfully the egotism "like this old man" was left off the Hokkaido University motto). His statue on the campus used to be a major tourist's attraction but is less so now that access is restricted to foot traffic. His statue on the famous Sheep Hill is more easily accessible and more popular. On one of our first trips after our marriage to Hokkaido, I took my bride for a reverent visit to the statue at Sheep Hill. She was significantly underwhelmed. She took one look at the statue with its motto and said "only Boys...really?" She then scanned the pasture with its few obligatory sheep scattered about in keeping with hill's name and dubbed the place "that tourist attraction where they keep a few sheep on leashes." (I sure can digress!)
First, I removed skin and excess fat from the thighs. I dredged them in a mixture of curry powder (again S&B) and AP flour (the proportion is arbitrary but I used 1 tsp of curry powder to 1/4 cup of flour) in a Ziploc bag. I brown the surface of the meat in a large saute pan on high heat with olive oil, turning once for 5 or so minutes per side. I removed the chicken and placed it in a separate stock pot or Dutch oven. I added roughly chopped onion to the saute pan and sauteed for several minutes and de-grazed using a small amount of chicken broth. I added this to the pot with the chicken thighs and added chicken broth (my usual Swanson reduced salt no-fat kind) and water (about half and half to prevent it from being too salty) to cover. I added potatoes (I used small red potatoes with the skin on, eyes removed) and carrot. (The amounts of vegetable and liquid are arbitrary but please refer to the package instructions of the curry roux for the appropriate ratio of the roux and liquid.) I simmered it for 30 minutes with two bay leaves (optional). I dissolved the curry roux and simmered for another 5 minutes.rakkyou" らっきょう (left) and "fukushinzuke" 福神漬け (right in the back). I had the last of the homemade pickled myouga 茗荷, which was added as well (middle).
Using bone-in whole thighs is easier than cutting up the chicken in small pieces. It also appears to add more flavor to the dish. One of the problems of using the commercial curry roux may be the amount of saturated fat and salt it contains but it tastes really good nonetheless. A good sturdy red wine will be our choice of libation here. We had Worthy 2006 which went well with curry.