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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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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    Feta and Pomegranate Molasses Babka

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

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    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

    Ingredients

    • 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

    Instructions

  • 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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    Spinach Quiche

    Have you ever misguidedly bought a bag of frozen spinach, only to bung in the freezer, in the hope it will be easy to add to meals? Except of course it isn’t, because the older, tougher frozen leaves are just not as good as fresh baby spinach. Perhaps it’s the stuff I’m buying, but if you have some sad frozen leaves lurking in your freezer, this is a very good way to turn in it into a much more delicious spinach quiche (cheese makes everything better, as well all know).

    I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, jiggled around a bit to suit English ingredients. And the pastry recipe recommended is spot on. I used t0 hate making pastry until I realised it is so much better behaved if you make it in the food processor so that the butter and flour is really well combined. Once you’ve done that it is so much simpler to roll out and line a tin. Make the full quantity, divide in two and put one half back in the freezer so you can make this quiche again when you realise how good it is. You’ll thank me later.

    PS – you really go want to let the spinach thaw, and then press as much water out as you can. I gave it some really hard squeezes with my hands which while cold, was effective. Using a potato rice would no doubt would work just was well without the risk of frozen fingers.

    Spinach Quiche

    Spinach Quiche

    Ingredients

    • 300g flour
    • 150g cold butter
    • Pinch salt
    • 85g cream cheese
    • 1/3 cup double cream
    • 3 eggs
    • 280g frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
    • 100g cheddar, grated
    • 4 spring onions, finely sliced

    Instructions

  • To make the pastry, pop your flour and cold butter in a food processor along with the salt and pulse until combined. Add in enough ice cold water to bind it together into a large round, then divide the dough in half. Pop half in the freezer for another time, and then press the other half into a 9 inch quiche disk. Blind bake this for 10 mins at 200C.
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese along with the eggs and cream until smooth. Mix in the spinach, spring onions and some salt and pepper before pouring into the tart base. Bake for 25 minutes until set and turning golden brown.
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