Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crispy Chicken with Garlic Sauce

I'm always buying bulk packages of chicken thighs because they're economical, versatile, and tasty. For dinner a few weeks ago, I knew I had a some thighs waiting for me in the fridge but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. Dahk kalbi? No, we had that last week. Dahk doritang? No, no potatoes at home. Dahk jook? Eh, not in the mood.

So, what ended up happening when I got home? I grabbed a bunch of peppers, did a little of this, sprinkled in a little of that, and this crispy chicken dish was born. It's similar to tangsuyuk or kkanpoongi because it's a crispy meat with a thick sauce. However, it's a little more savory and not as sweet, but it's just as yummy with a heaping bowl of rice.
Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 cup potato starch
¼ cup water
hot and mild peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup grated apple
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon corn syrup
½ cup chicken stock
½ teaspoon sesame oil
oil for frying
+ ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru) - this is optional
chopped scallion

As you can see, quite a few ingredients go into the sauce. If you don't have fish sauce, that's okay. Just add a splash more soy sauce. If you don't have corn syrup, use a little extra honey. It's going to be all right.
Chop up the veggies and the garlic and grate the apple. I used the coarsest side of my box grater and left the skin on, as I was feeling lazy and impatient and hungry.
Mix together the potato starch and water. It'll feel a little weird to mix the two, as potato starch is quite a weird ingredient. If you've ever mixed cornstarch and water, you'll know the feeling. Set aside.
Mix together all of the sauce ingredients - soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, grated apple, corn syrup, and honey.
Heat a skillet with a little sesame oil (plus a little regular oil, if necessary) and cook the garlic until it starts to brown on the edges. Chuck in the onion and peppers and cook until soft. Sprinkle in a little gochugaru (if you like spice) and stir together before pouring in some chicken stock. Add in the mixed up sauce ingredients and stir. Now, add in about 1 tablespoon of the potato starch and water mixture. This will thicken up the sauce. Bring to a boil and then set aside.
Coat the chicken pieces in the remaining potato starch mixture and fry up the pieces until they're crisp and lightly browned.
Pop the pieces of chicken right onto a paper towel to wick away the excess oil.
Plate the chicken and drown them in that luscious sauce and then garnish with some chopped scallions.
Serve warm with bowls of rice and other banchan and have at it. The breading on the chicken is so crisp and light, the sauce is a lovely salty, garlicky mess, and together, they are wonderful.
Here's the recipe page:

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