Chicken in Korea is very flavorful–even the white meat is juicy and bursting with flavor–and it’s so appreciated that there are a lot of restaurants that serve just chicken dishes. It’s difficult to translate those recipes in this country because the chicken here just doesn’t have the same flavor. Korean dishes are made to enhance the chicken flavor, not just season a bland, white meat protein. This dish, called Dak Dori Tang, incorporates many of the traditional Korean aromatics so even without Korean chicken-raised chicken the resulting flavors come close to what they enjoy in Korea. Note that, after the chicken and potatoes are eaten you can add rice to the leftover sauce and make fried rice.
What to Drink: Soju
4 pounds (or 4 thighs and legs) dark meat chicken, bone-in
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp. pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pint sake
½ pint minced garlic
½ pint minced ginger
2 pints low-sodium chicken stock
2 pints dashi
½ pint gochujang (Korean red pepper paste that can be found in Asian markets)
½ pint gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes that can be found in Asian markets)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
4 medium-size Yukon potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 medium white onions, cut into 1-inch squares
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
1 bunch scallions, sliced very thin and rinsed in cold water and dried
1. Cut each thigh and leg into 2 pieces with the bone in.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then sear until golden brown in color, about 2 to 4 minutes each side. You should do this in 2 or 3 batches so as not to crowd the pan. Remove some of the fat halfway through. Remove chicken and set aside.
3. To the same pot, add sake and turn the heat up to high, cook until all the alcohol has burned off. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, dashi, gochujang, gochugaru, and soy and lower heat to medium. Cook and reduce by 2/3, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and onions and cook for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pot. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook 10 more minutes, stirring frequently so that all ingredients are cooking evenly. Serve with scallion garnish or cilantro.