Hearty, Spicy Chicken Stew: Dakbokkeumtang

 

I love cooking. I don’t care how complicated a dish is, if I’m excited to try the end product, I will thoroughly enjoy making it as well.
But! Sometimes you just want to put everything in a pan, forget about it, and come back to something unbelievably delicious.
This is where I introduce you to one of my favorite one-pot wonders: dakbokkeumtang. If you’re in to jjimdak, think of dakbokkeumtang as its heartier, spicier cousin.

Ingredients needed:
One chicken cut into chunks
Five small potatoes
Three medium carrots
One large onion
Three small knobs of ginger. (large enough chunks that you can fish out later so you don’t bite into it thinking it’s a potato later)
*I would have added green scallions if I had some in my fridge.
1/4 cup water
Spring onion for garnish

For the seasoning:
1/4 cup gochujang (chili paste)
1/4 cup Korean chili flakes
1/4 cup crushed garlic
1/4 cup soju (Korean liquor- can add Japanese sake as a substitute)
1/8 cup mirin
1/8 cup fish sauce

(1)DSC_0043Cut the vegetables in fairly large chunks. Especially the onions, because they will reduce in the sauce.

(2)
DSC_0045
Add a touch of oil to a deep pot and start cooking the chicken on high heat. This will lock in the juices and also give another dimension of flavor. You don’t need to brown the chicken.

(3)DSC_0046
While the chicken is cooking, take all of your seasonings and mix well.

(4)DSC_0047
Pile the root veg on top of the chicken and then add the sauce. Shimmy your spatula or other cooking utensils under and around the ingredients to coat evenly with the sauce. After everything is coated (especially the vegetables), add water. I know what you’re thinking at this point. 1/4 cup water? Isn’t that too little? Trust me, the vegetables and meat will create its own pool of delicious broth, so only a minimum amount of water is needed.

(5)DSC_0049
Reduce the fire to medium heat, close the lid, walk away and read a book, do some push-ups or something.

(6)DSC_0052
After thirty minutes, you will be left with tender chicken and deliciously seasoned vegetables.

(7)DSC_0053
Garnish with spring onions, enjoy while still molten hot with a heaping bowl of hot rice.

(8)DSC_0056

If you want to make a slightly healthier version of dakbokkeumtang, blanch the chicken in hot water instead of pan frying it in oil. But let me just say that making it the original way will make it taste that much more delicious.
CAUTION. Do NOT use boneless chicken. It will not taste as good. The bones are what gives the soup its rich flavor. And what’s more satisfying then grabbing a chicken leg and ripping meat off the bone like a caveman?
Reserve leftover broth. It’s liquid gold. Heat it up in a hot pan, add leftover rice, some kimchi, and gim (dried seaweed). Mix an egg in if you’re feeling adventurous. Spread the rice thinly on the pan and leave for five minutes to crispify, and you’re left with the BEST fried rice ever. You can thank me later.

Good luck in the kitchen, until next time! 🙂

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