Gochujang Braised Chicken Legs with Seasoned Rice

My first version used thighs.  Equally good with legs.

This is a nice dish to warm you up on a cold winter night.    We recently made it for friends, who all loved it.  It comes together quickly, and doesn’t require a lot of fussing so you can spend more time enjoying your guests than in the kitchen.    You could even make the chicken and the rice the day before and re-heat the chicken it while you fry the rice.

Yes, you will probably have to hit the oriental market especially to buy the Korean Gochujang paste, but it will be worth it.  The paste keeps a long time in your fridge, but once you have tried it, you will be looking for ways to incorporate it into other things you cook.

2 examples of packaging for Gochujang sauce.

The dish is a little spicy, but not overpowering.  If you are concerned about the heat factor, maybe start with half the amount of gochujang.  You can always add more spice, but you cant take it out.

The original recipe can be found on Epicurious.   I have made a few changes to suit my cooking style, and the number of people it serves.

1 large onion, finely chopped

8 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

1/4 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

5 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

12 chicken thighs or drumsticks, patted dry (or combination of both)

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 – 4 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock  or low-sodium chicken broth

1 bunch scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced.

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Mix onion, garlic, ginger, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, and 1 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl to combine; set sauce aside.

Toss cooked rice, cumin, garlic powder, and mustard powder in a medium bowl to combine; spread out on rimmed baking sheet and chill until cold, about 1 hour.

Season chicken with salt. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy pot  or dutch oven over medium.  Add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add reserved onion and garlic mixture and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce appears to thin out, about 3 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and simmer, turning occasionally, until chicken is very tender, 45–55 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Working in several batches, fry rice,  until it starts to get crispy on the bottom, about 5 minutes, stir and cook another 5 minutes.  what you are looking for is for some of the grains to be crispy, puffed, and lightly golden. Transfer to serving bowl  or platter and keep warm while you fry the rest of the rice.

To serve,  top fried rice with chicken, garnish with scallions and coconut.   Spoon some sauce over and serve the extra sauce along side.


Cooks notes:  the original version of this dish includes using short grain rice and shaping it into patties to fry.


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