Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dak Doritang - Korean Chicken Stew



I was after something simple and homely, something I could stick on the stove so that I could flop on the couch and gaze inanely at the TV. I wanted something vivid with a variety of textures and I wanted something meaty. I knew I was being picky but a quick Google search told me that Korean was the way to go. 

Usually a winter dish, Dak Doritang (spicy simmered chicken stew) has many variations and recipes, but all I found include chicken and potatoes. And then served over rice. Double carbing! I was sold.



This recipe is an amalgamation of lots I found over the internet, and having never been to Korea or tried this dish in a Korean restaurant, I have no idea whether it is 'authentic' or not. It is delicious though, and given how simple it was to put together and the short ingredients list, it is set to be a staple. The sweetness of the sauce tempers the heat of the chilli, making it tongue-tingling but not excruciating. Well, not for me anyway; my housemate broke a sweat so if you're not very tolerant perhaps dial down the chilli powder a bit. It's not the most attractive of dishes - stews, I find rarely are - but more a giant bowl to bury your face in. 



I used dark chicken meat on the bone which I think is very important; given that you're using a water base rather than stock you need to get maximum flavour given the relatively short simmering time, and the bones help do this. Also, it's more fun eating meat off the bone. I kept the skin on the chicken, adding more flavour and texture and I understand that flabby chicken skin isn't high on everyone's favourites list, but personally I love it. Remove it if it gives you the wibbles.


Dak Doritang


Serves 4


For the sauce: 2 tbsp Gochujang (get this at your local Asian supermarket)
3 tbsp coarse Korean chilli powder (this stuff is not blow-your-face-off but gives it the red colour so if you use a different chilli powder be careful with quantities)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2" piece of ginger, minced
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp rice wine (Shaoxing)
2 tbsp ketchup (yes really)
60ml water


4 large chicken thighs - get your butcher to chop each into 4 for you, or get your cleaver out.
2 medium white onions, chopped into 6
2 carrots, chopped roughly
6 new potatoes, sliced in half (so they're bite-sized)
A handful of green beans - any greenery you have, really
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally 


Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the chicken pieces in. Simmer for two minutes, drain and rinse the pan and the chicken thoroughly. 


Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients and add the chicken, tossing well. Place back in the pan and bring to the simmer. Add the potatoes and the onions and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, then add the onions and simmer for another 20 mins lid on, tossing all the ingredients in the sauce well. If it's looking a little dry, add more water but this is supposed to be nice and thick. Remove the lid, stir and add the greenery and simmer for another 15 minutes, gently. Serve over steamed white rice with the sliced spring onions garnishing each dish. 

15 comments:

meemalee said...

Is it winter yet? Yes, it is. I want to eat bowls and bowls of this.

Tang said...

Love that you mentioned the importance of leaving the bone and skin on! I make a very similar dish with kimchi when I crave for something warm and spicy, I called it Kimchi Chicks :)

Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine said...

This looks SO tasty! Well, actually, you're right - stews are never that attractive, but I absolutely love recipes like this and, after the morning I've just had, I could happily dive into a bowl of this. This will be being made tonight if I can get my hands on some chicken, stat.

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Meemalee - it might as well be. Get stuck in :)

Tang - Absolutely! people get so squeamish about bone and skin, but really it's just tasty. I bet it's great with kimchi, Kimchi Chicks will be made soon!

Vicky - Thanks Vicky! I reckon it would be pretty tasty with some pork too.

Food Urchin said...

I'd worry about about getting a cleaver out to chop a chicken thigh into four but lovely recipe Lizzie.

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Food Urchin - Don't be such a pussy, Dan.

rejina said...

i bet this is one of those 'even better the next day' type of stews - ooh I could inhale a bowl right now.

Shu Han said...

ketchup, really?? looks freaking delicious lizzie, so I'm already convinced. I've made sth very similar looking before on my blog, called gamjatang, go see if you can be bothered! It's made with pork-on-bone, but also has a lot of similar ingredients like the korean chilli powder and the potatoes and onions and seasoning and garlic ginger spring onions etc. Ultimate winter/rainy season/sniffly season antidote.

and re:bone and skin, YES!

Shu Han said...

ketchup, really?? looks freaking delicious lizzie, so I'm already convinced. I've made sth very similar looking before on my blog, called gamjatang, go see if you can be bothered! It's made with pork-on-bone, but also has a lot of similar ingredients like the korean chilli powder and the potatoes and onions and seasoning and garlic ginger spring onions etc. Ultimate winter/rainy season/sniffly season antidote.

and re:bone and skin, YES!

The Grubworm said...

Ketchup? Hell yes, so glad to see other people using it - i can finally come out about dirty little secret ingredient... ;D

This looks ace, skin and bone would add more texture as well as taste and while it may not be attractive, any chilli laced dish you can bury yer face in has got it's own unique (and messy) beauty.

What I really like about this is the short prep time, you could throw it together on a week day evening. And I'm guessing you could use some oily fish, prawns or whatever meat you had to hand as well.

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Rej - alas, there wasn't any leftovers to find out!

Shu Han - c'mon, ketchup really! ;) the gamjatang looks and sounds awesome.

Grubworm - Hell yeah indeed! I love the texture of chicken skin cooked like this, although I know lots of people get squeamish about it. Definitely a good weeknight supper dish.

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing. Going to try this during the week though not quite sure I've managed to find the right Korean past (guy at Camberwell Green Chinese supermarket wasn't sure). And can you help me with something? You poach the chicken briefly in water, then chuck out the water and put the chicken with the paste/soy/garlic etc and cook it all up? Or do you put it back in the water you poached the chicken in?
Thanks

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Hi Anon - sorry for the late reply. It looks like this: http://www.orientalfoodshop.com/korean-hot-pepper-paste-gochujang.html

And yes, you chuck the chicken water out - that pre-boiling is so that the scum you'd get that rises to the top doesn't taint your stew.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lizzie - that's brilliant. And hurrah! we've got the right paste. Think I'll do it tomorrow night

Kanta said...

We, too, cook potato and chicken together and then, eat with rice. There are remarkable differences, too. For example, we must add turmeric and never, the rice wine! A typical example is here:
http://kantasfoodexperience.blogspot.in/2010/06/good-old-homely-bengali-murgir-mangsher.html

Thanks for sharing!