I really enjoy dining at Korean restaurants — the whole experience (including the food, of course), is usually quite great. I also like to try my hand at cooking Korean in my own kitchen. Some of my favorites to make at home are bulgogi, bibim bap, dwaejigogi kimchijjigae, and the list goes on. Last night, I was in the mood for Korean comfort food, so I made dakjjim (braised chicken). This version is spicy and delicious, and really satisfied my craving for Korean — I hope you’ll try it this weekend!
1 3-lb chicken, skin and fat removed, but bone intact, cut into 8 pieces
3 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp rice wine (or mirin)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I use Yukon Gold)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp gochujang chili paste (available in Asian markets)
3 Tbsp Korean chili powder (available in Asian markets)
2 Tbsp canola oil
4 cups water
3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish
Place potatoes and carrot in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for about 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, place chicken pieces, 1 tsp salt, ground black pepper and rice wine. Combine well, cover and place in refrigerator while potatoes and carrot soak.
In a small bowl, combine sesame see paste, soy sauce, gochujang paste and Korean chili powder. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large wok or similar pan over high heat. Add crushed garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add chicken with its marinade. Cook until nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to paper towels and let stand.
Heat remaining oil in the wok over high heat. Add drained potatoes, carrot and onions. Stir-fry vegetables until slightly tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in water, remaining 2 tsp salt, gochujang mixture and chopped chilies. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Simmer until sauce has reduced by a third, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Pour into 4 serving bowls. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve with bowls of steamed white or brown rice.