Before I get on with what I really want to talk about, let me just say a few things.
I was just in Pogo, working on my personal challenge, when I noticed that the chat room was going nuts with all the people talking. Since I normally don’t play in rooms where people get chatty, it attracted my attention. What were my fellow Pogo-ers discussing? Why, the President, of course. And of course, it was all about what a crappy state our nation has found itself in, and somehow it’s all President Obama’s fault.
Um, WHAT? The man has been in office what, two weeks? I realize that the poor man has been touted as our nation’s savior, but anyone who seriously believes that Obama can fix all of our ills all by himself needs to have his head examined. I feel like the conservatives are just waiting for him to fail so they can pounce on him and say, “See?? We were right! You should have voted for McCain!”
It was just one thing after another, how President Obama is driving this nation right into the ground. I guess why I’m so perturbed is because in the military, you leave politics out of it. Of course you’re expected to vote, and no one pressures you to vote one way or another. But once the election is over and the next President takes office, we leave politics behind and wait for orders from our Commander-in-Chief without thought of who we voted for.
I wish more Americans thought this way and followed their President, instead of acting like sore losers when their candidate is outvoted. We could get a lot more done if we would just band together instead of squabbling amongst ourselves.
SO! How’s dinner looking for you? Would you like to try some new flavors? Of course, you would.
My good friend Jen, whom I love dearly because not only is she rad on her own, but she’s the awesomest photographer I know in person, pointed out this delicious Korean stew recipe. I know some of you are hesitant to try new, weird, oddball flavors, but this is the farthest thing from new, weird, and oddball in terms of flavor.
Now, before I get too far into it, it does require the use of gochujang. I know that sounds weird, but it isn’t. What it is, is hot pepper paste. It’s easily found in almost any Asian market because so many Korean recipes use it. It’s a thick paste that’s a bit sweet and rather spicy. I just took a bite in the name of science and found it delicious. It’s really necessary for Korean recipes, so please go to your nearest Asian store and look for it.
Generally it looks like this:
Most of the time it will say “hot pepper paste” in English on the label, but in case it doesn’t, it almost always comes in these red plastic containers. The peppers on the front is a dead giveaway too.
On to the recipe! Jen found it on AllRecipes.com, and it’s called Korean Spicy Chicken and Potato, or Tak Toritang.
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken drumettes
- 2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons gochujang (hot pepper paste)
- In a large pot over medium heat, mix the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onion, sugar, and garlic. Pour in water and soy sauce, and stir in sugar and hot pepper paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes, until chicken juices run clear, vegetables are tender, and liquid has thickened.
Could it get any easier??? No, it really could not. My only issue is that I tried to make it in a skillet-type pan, and you really should use a pot.
Of course, I made a couple of changes. For one thing, I dropped the amount of gochujang to just one tablespoon since Grace was going to be eating the dish. That was just enough to give the dish the flavor of the gochujang without the heat. If your family loves heat, then by all means, add all three tablespoons. I also cut the soy sauce down to 1/3 cup, and even used the reduced-sodium stuff. I wouldn’t use the full 1/2 cup unless you like things really salty.
Jen also suggested browning the meat ahead of time, which I did. I think it added a lot more flavor since all the browned bits from the browning of the meat ended up the sauce and made it taste even more rich. If you do brown the meat, you really only need to simmer the stew for 20-25 minutes, until the veggies are cooked through. I used Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe; I think red potatoes would work just fine too. I would stay away from Russets since those are too mealy and would break apart in the sauce too much. The Yukon Golds kept their shape and tasted creamy while soaking up all of the flavor from the sauce.
My only argument with this recipe was that I didn’t think there was enough veggies. I would double the carrots, definitely, and maybe add another potato or two. But then I love veggies.
Definitely serve this over rice. I know it seems like overkill to have it over rice when there’s already potatoes in the dish, but it’s an Asian dish! It’s required to serve with rice! And there needs to be something to soak up all that delicious sauce in the bottom of the pan.
You know, I made this dish several days ago, and I’m still salivating over the flavor. I can’t describe what it’s like, other than the perfect balance of salty and savory, added to the sweetness of the carrots and onions.
I think the next time I make it, I’ll use chicken thighs. The drummettes were a bit too fussy for me to get the meat off of, and there’s a lot of gristle that I end up eating around.
But try it! Let me know if you end up making it and what you think of it. I’m sure you could sneak it past the most fastidious of eaters if you just don’t tell them it’s got some strange Asian ingredients in it!