Wash the cabbage well and cut up roughly into fairly large pieces, and leave to dry in a sieve or colander.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces (about the size you'd use for karaage), and season with the ingredients marked ● (sake, salt and pepper).
Put the cabbage and the ingredients marked ○ (tomato, water, soup stock and bay leaf) in a pot, put a lid on and heat. (If you're using canned whole tomatoes, crush the tomatoes before putting them in.)
While the pot is simmering, dust the chicken with with flour, shake off any excess and brown on both sides in a frying pan with oil (not listed in the ingredients)., then take out.
When the pot from step 3 is boiling and the cabbage has reduced a bit in volume, add the browned chicken from 4 and the salt and honey. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
When the cabbage is soft, add the ingredients marked ◎ (soy sauce and pepper) and adjust the seasoning. Scatter the cheese on top and let it melt with the residual heat.
Transfer to serving plates and it's done. This is easily enough for 4 to 6 people.
Story Behind this Recipe
I had a lot of cabbage that I'd bought or gotten from people to use up so I came up with this recipe. Since then it's become a family favorite.
Because you dust the chicken with flour before browning and then simmering it the umami is held inside and the meat won't fall apart. By sprinkling it with some sake for cooking, the gaminess of the chicken is gone and it becomes very tender. Adjust the amount of salt and water depending on how much cabbage you use. I use about 1/2 a tomato can of water.