Mar 14, 2016

Making Spicy Korean Chicken Stew

Cookbooks are one of the most popular selling genres and now people can turn to the internet for recipes plus we all have family recipes; but, the best way to learn a new recipe is to take a cooking class.  John and I have enjoyed cooking classes in several countries and we always learn more than something new to cook.

When John and I were in Seoul, Korea, we took a cooking class at O’ngo Food Communications. We made several dishes including Spicy Chicken Stew. The teacher/chef, Hyejin Kim, said it the recipe that more people requested to learn how to make. I would have thought kimchi would be the most requested.  Kimchi is the best known Korean food. It is veggie dish that has a unique flavor. Not my favorite so we didn’t sign up for that class.

There was another couple in our cooking class which made the
class more enjoyable and when we finished we dined together enjoying the food we made.  The chef joined us and the discussion led to table etiquette and how they are different in each country.

Politeness and respect of elders is very important to Koreans. Chef Kim said that while manners have relaxed in Korea just as they have elsewhere many families try to retain the old ways. Korean meals consists of several dishes placed on the table family style to be shared by everyone. The oldest person sits down first,
 and after everyone else is seated, eating can begin when the oldest person picks up their chopsticks. Guests should try to eat at the same pace as the oldest person. When offered an alcoholic drink it is considered impolite to refuse, especially if offered by an elder. If you do not want more to drink do not empty your glass/cup. When offered more food, and, you would like more, decline twice and then accept. Leaving a little food on your plate at the end of the meal indicates the host has provided enough food. Koreans eat quietly saving discussion for after dinner. “Clean platers” is not the way of things in most Asian countries.  There is no point in saving room for dessert because there often is no dessert. The last course, in lieu of the typical dessert, is usually fresh fruit. Koreans eat quietly, saving discussion for after dinner.

Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dak Dori Tang)
1 and half to 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (drumsticks, breasts, an/or wings)
2 onions cut in quarters
4-6 potatoes, peeled and cut to wedges
1 large carrot, peeled and cut to about 1-inch pieces
2 scallions, chopped coarsely to 1-inch long pieces
1-2 tbsp oil (enough to cover the bottom of the cooking pot)

1 tbsp chili sauce
One-half tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
One-half tbsp.
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
One-half tbsp sugar
One fourth tsp black pepper
1 tsp sesame seed, crushed
 1-2 cups of water

Cut all vegetables, set aside. Mix all the sauce ingredients (not the water), set aside. Put oil in cooking pot (can use a crockpot) on medium heat for three to four minutes. Add vegetables and chicken slowly being careful that the oil doesn’t spatter. Sear for four to five minutes stirring occasionally. Add sauce mixture and water.  Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium. Cook about one-and-half to two hours, or until all ingredients are cooked, and sauce has thickened.