Korean Chicken and Potato Stew

Well it’s been a long old pause over here, hasn’t it? Somehow over winter I went into full-on hibernation mode and lost my way a bit with cooking and writing. Then daylight savings time ended and suddenly all I wanted to do was get back into the kitchen, flip through my recipe books and eat, eat, eat.

I’ve loved Gizzi Erskine’s A Healthy Appetite since I bought it, but well over a year later I am still cooking new things from it, and am still yet to have a bad recipe from it’s pages. This Korean chicken and potato stew is the latest success, and even though I swapped a few things around based on the original recipe, it worked perfectly. It’s an ideal spring supper: packed full of flavour but warming from all the chilli and spice on evenings that aren’t quite balmy just yet.

The only thing you really do need to make it authentic is gochujang – a little big sweet, definitely spicy, slightly funky Korean chilli sauce. I located some in our local Morrisons so I don’t think it’s that hard to track down (Waitrose also have a version in their Cooks’ Ingredients range). Apart from that, it’s just a straightforward chicken stew: but a whole lot better than the name might suggest.

Korean Chicken and Potato Stew, adapted from Gizzi Erkine's A Healthy Appetite

Yield: Serves 3

Korean Chicken and Potato Stew, adapted from Gizzi Erkine's A Healthy Appetite


  • 6-8 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3cm ginger
  • 300g baby potatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 200g green beans, halved
  • 4 spring onions, each chopped into three


  • Start by taking one half of the onion, and blitzing together in a mini blender with the ginger, garlic and a splash of water to create a smooth puree. Season the chicken thighs and then brown over a high heat until the skin is golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Take the other onion half, roughly quarter, and add to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to blacken and remove from the heat. Pour in the puree, turn down to medium and let it cook until golden brown and fragrant. Use the liquid in the puree to scrap up all the chicken fond that sticks to the bottom. Once it's turned golden, return the chicken thighs to the pan, and nestle the potatoes all around.
  • Pour over the gochujang, soy, chilli, vinegar, puree and stock, and let it simmer over a medium-low heat for 35 minutes with a lid on. Once that time is up, add the green beans and spring onions, and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid off. The chicken should be falling off the bone and the potatoes tender.
  • Serve with fresh spring onion, sesame seeds and plenty of rice.
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    Dinner and Drinks at Darkhorse, in Stratford’s East Village

    It’s remarkable how much living in Stratford has changed in the four years we’ve been here: in that time we’ve seen the former Olympic Village move from being boarded up, to having a few ghostly residents, to now being the full of life year round. For me and my greedy stomach, the highlight of this has been the array of great restaurants and coffee shops that have now popped up on our doorstep, including Darkhorse among others.

    The menu is southern European inspired, but with British roots: think tiger prawns on a bed of swiss chard, roasted guinea fowl with gratin dauphinoise, pork chop with celeriac remoulade, and was all perfectly cooked and presented. The desserts were especially good. I opted for a bitter chocolate tart while J had the hot chocolate bread pudding, which he promptly declared the best he’d ever had. Another highlight for us was the interesting cocktail menu – I tried a bergamot gimlet while J went for a classic Aviation. Delicious, but one was definitely enough on a Wednesday evening as they were pretty strong!

    Darkhorse’s menu has been designed so that you can go for the traditional starter and main combo, or make your own ‘picky bits’ selection built up from charcuterie and smaller plates which are fantastic for sharing. It made the perfect mid-week date spot and would be a great way to finish off your day if you’ve been shopping in Westfield and want to get away from all the hustle and bustle for a far more relaxed meal than you can otherwise find.

    A review of Darkhorse in E20's East Village: the perfect grown up date spot

    Our meal at Darkhorse was complimentary, but we’ll definitely be back (especially as I have my eye on the Baked Vacherin Mont D’Or to share) 

    Feta and Pomegranate Molasses Babka

    Work of art or savoury babka filling with feta, pomegranate molasses and sumac?


    Savoury babka you say? There is no good reason for you not to get in the kitchen and make this immediately. I was very loosely inspired by Molly Yeh’s za’atar mini babkas but as you can quickly see: they really are quite a long way from them.

    Za’atar was lacking in our local supermarket, labneh non-existent (and I was too impatient to embark on making my own), and all the mini babkas seemed like too much effort when I wasn’t convinced that all the changes I’d made would even result in something edible anyway.

    I should have made them in mini. This is so ridiculously good as a bread- deeply savoury from the cheese, a kick from the chilli flakes and acidic from the pomegranate molasses and sumac. I ate it grilled for breakfast for several days afterwards, with a big smear of honey on top, and cannot recommend that enough.

    Perhaps in a future recipe I’ll do these again in mini, with a honey glaze already thoughtfully provided on top, but this giant babka is just good not to share in the meantime.

    Feta and Pomegranate Molasses Babka

    Feta and Pomegranate Molasses Babka


    • Babka dough - I used my babka dough without the sugar
    • 150g feta
    • 100g skyr or labneh
    • 2 tsp sumac
    • Pomegranate Molasses
    • Chilli Flakes
    • Fresh thmye


  • Once you've made the babka dough and let it had it's first rise, roll it out into the biggest rectangle you can manage. Thinly spread over the skyr or labneh - this is the 'glue' that will hold all the filling together so try to get it all over your base. Then, sprinkle over the feta, sumac, chilli flakes and thyme leaves, finishing with a drizzle of the pomegrante molasses. Think Jackson Pollock painting.
  • To roll it up, start at the largest edge and roll as tightly as you can the whole way across until you have a thick log. Take a serrated knife and cut the log in half, and then twist the two strands together. This will be much longer than your loaf tin, but squash it in. Let the dough rise and puff up for an hour at room temperature, and then bake at 200 C for 35 mins.
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