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
6-8 chicken thighs, skin on
1 onion, halved
3 cloves of garlic
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.
On the Bab: Korean buns? Dispense-your-own beer? Kimchi? All of the above and more were consumed one evening with Mike and Sophie at On the Bab, just down the side from Covent Garden. It was an unusual (and tasty) departure from my usual choice of bibimbap when out for Korean, although I think Yum Bun are probably still the winners for me when it comes to all things steamed dough.
#SundayBest with McCain: Thank you Haydy for inviting me along to this celebration of the roast potato! We feasted our way through Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter potatoes: molecular sauces, pulled turkey and roast beef-infused steam were just some of the fun twists on show that evening. We ate an awful lot of delicious roast potatoes and had great fun with the gravy fountain. Top marks all round.
Beer & Buns: This Japanese izakaya style bar started out as a pop-up and but is now sticking around permanently. Despite having never made it in for a drink when I worked just around the corner, J and I finally popped back in for a drink earlier this week and happily enjoyed a pint while soaking up the buzzy atmosphere, chalkboard walls and pinball machines. Monday nights see them offering up either wings or buns and a pint for £7.50… so no doubt an early week return trip will pop up in my diary soon.
On the Bab, under £20 each for beer, buns and sides
Beer and Buns, £4.75 for a pint of Asahi