Spicy braised chicken breasts

Dakbokkeumtang 닭볶음탕

Dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕) is very popular spicy chicken dish in Korea. It’s also called dakdoritang (닭도리탕).

This video is a remake of an earlier one I made in 2011 in Amsterdam with my reader Sarah. It was during my Gapshida tour, and Sarah hosted a meetup in her house. Ever since then when I have dakbokkeumtang I have to think about that beautiful time with my readers. Now as I update this video it’s already 2019 and I can’t believe how much time has passed! I hope everyone at the meetup has a happy life and is in good health, and I hope they are still making Korean dishes!

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Usually dakbokkeumtang is made with chunks of whole chicken. Since I first posted this recipe many people have told me they made it with chicken breast, but it never sounded like a good idea to me because chicken breast is often so dry. But I’ve been experimenting for some time now, trying to make juicy dakbokkeumtang with chicken breast.  I’ve found that using milk works well, and it also gets rid of any chicken smell. I also use apple instead of sugar. I was very happy when the experiments turned out successful enough to share with you.

Even though I’ve updated this recipe and video, the original video will always remain, because the recipe is delicious and a part of my life and memories. No matter what ingredients are available to you – chicken breasts, wings, or thighs, sugar or apple – you can make great dakbokkeumtang.

Enjoy the recipe! Be happy with your delicious dakbokkeumtang!

Ingredients

Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch thick bite sized chunks
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1 inch long

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For seasoning paste:

Directions

Prepare the chicken:

  1. Cut each breast crosswise into 2½ inch chunks. You will get about 4 pieces.
  2. Make 1 inch deep slits into each chunk ½ inch apart.  Transfer them all to a medium bowl and sprinkle the salt over top and in the slits evenly.
  3. Add the milk and gently mix to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the seasoning paste:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon.

Cook dakbokkeumtang:

  1. Put a piece of chicken on the cutting board, the slit side up. Use your hands to push a few apple slices into each slit.
  2. Then transfer it to a pan or pot. I use a shallow 9½ inch pan that’s 2½ inches deep.
  3. Repeat with the rest of chicken and the apple slices. If you have some leftover apple slices, put them anywhere in the pan.
  4. Add the seasoning paste over the top of the chicken and add 2½ cups water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium high heat.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  5. Add the potato, onion, and green chili pepper. Gently stir the chicken and vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another 15 minutes. If it boils over or the water is boiled down, add more water and crack the lid open a little.  dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  6. Open and add the green onions. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir for 1 minute until vigorously bubbling.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  7. Remove from the heat

Serve:

  1. Transfer to the table and serve right away in the pan with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes. If you cook this in a large pot, you can use a ladle and transfer to a plate and serve.

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