Braised Chicken With Gochujang
Slow-braising to infuse meats with deep flavor and produce warming, stew-like plates of food is a cooking method of choice when the weather brings a chill. This chicken dish is the product of what I call the usual three-step affair (brown chicken, add other ingredients and some liquid, cover and slowly simmer). But I gave it a bit of heat, unpacking sake, ginger, garlic and the spicy Korean condiment gochujang, plus well-mannered slivers of poblano chilis into the pan. You can now find gochujang in supermarkets or online; you won’t use the entire jar for this dish so exploit it for other occasions. It keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator. The chicken will welcome a pillow of steamed rice alongside.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 16 ½pound chicken, cut in 10 pieces
- 1tablespoon grapeseed oil (optional)
- 4large shallots, sliced thin
- 1tablespoon finely slivered fresh ginger
- 2large cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 3poblano chiles, cored, seeded, cut in thin slivers
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- ½pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2tablespoons gochujang
- ½cup sake or dry white wine
- 2tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
Step 1Pat chicken pieces dry. Heat a heavy 3 1/2-quart sauté pan or casserole. If your pan is seasoned cast-iron or nonstick you will not need the oil. Otherwise add oil to pan and sear chicken on high heat until golden brown. Transfer chicken from pan to a platter. There should be enough fat from the chicken in the pan to continue the recipe, otherwise add a little oil.
Step 2Add shallots, ginger, garlic and chiles to pan and sauté on low until the shallots are barely starting to color. Stir in cumin. Add mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt and cook until mushrooms have softened. Stir gochujang into the sake and pour into the pan. Stir. Add vinegar. Add more salt if needed.
Step 3Place chicken in pan, skin side up, basting each piece with sauce as you add it. Cover pan and cook on very low 30 minutes. Serve directly from pan or transfer to a serving platter. Toss cilantro on top before serving.