Korean Chicken and Potatoes
It is always a curiosity to me the science of flavor preferences among people.
Why do they like what they do?
Why will some people only eat mild foods and others prefer extra spicy?
What role does heredity, environment and culture play?
Despite my own family enjoying food from around most every continent on a regular basis, they also have an enduring craving for Korean food and dishes that include familial ingredient flavors, including anything flavored with soy sauce.
Korean food inspires a bit of kitchen hovering in my house too for as soon as common scents begin to flood the house, the eagerness greatly heightens to dip in those chopsticks and get down to the savor.
Though I initially had to get used to Kimchi, once I became accustomed to it, I too began craving it.
And once we begin preparing the Korean and Asian repertoire of foods in my house, it goes on for days, until everyone has had their fill where we revolve back to exploring some of the foods that other cultures and continents have to offer, along with family favorites like spaghetti and meatballs.
Last week Alex the Athlete, the J-Dude and me enjoyed a wonderful afternoon making some juicy dumplings, combinations of pork and shrimp with Napa Cabbage and bean sprouts, along with another selection of chicken, scallions, bok choy, almonds and hoisin sauce.
As always, the fresh steamed dumplings are continuously devoured straight from the stacked up bamboo steamers after a quick dip into the accompanying sauce made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, crushed garlic and a good dose of hot sauce.
Following our little dumpling treats, we moved on to the Korean Style Chicken, a recipe that I have adapted from Authors: Jenny Kwak with Liz Fried Cookbook: Dok Suni, Recipes From My Mother’s Korean Kitchen where the dish is called Stewed Chicken with Potatoes.
Besides the full, bold flavors common of Korean food, the ease of this dish is that it can all be prepared in one pot.
Even with the potatoes, the dish is still spicy, the flavor liquid soaked into the potato chunks serves as a thin soup complemented on top of a good-sized bowl of Korean rice to balance it out.
I make a larger batch than the recipe calls for and use a bit less red pepper flakes than proportionally called for, which still produces plenty of spiciness in the dish. You can add more or less to suit your personal taste and spice level tolerance.
A family favorite. Korean Chicken and Potatoes.
Korean Style Chicken
- 4-5 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut in half
- 7-8 potatoes cut into large chunk pieces
- 4-5 onions, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes, more or less as desired
- 4 pieces crushed garlic, cut in half
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch fresh scallions, chopped
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoons Mirin, rice wine
- 4 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cups water, more or less, to just cover the chicken
- 2 cups bok choy, chopped
- Sesame Seeds or Sesame Salt for Garnish
- Lightly cover the bottom of a heated large pot with oil, add the chopped onions, crushed garlic cloves, fresh ginger, and chopped scallions, cook on very low heat until softened a few minutes then add in the chicken thighs until they begin to color, turning over the pieces in between
- Sprinkle the red pepper flakes over the chicken and stir, cook another minute then stir in the potatoes
- Mix together the soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil and pour into the pot, stir, and continue heating on low temperature
- Pour in the water, just enough to cover the pot ingredients, stir, then simmer covered around 30 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are mostly cooked
- Stir in the bok choy, cover the pot and simmer another ten minutes and until the chicken thighs are very tender
- Plate and garnish with scallion strips and sesame seeds or salt
- Serve alongside rice