Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Unlike the Korean food that is spicy hot, this dish, flavored with a traditional marinade, has a more subtle kick that lies beneath the sweet-tart flavor of the chicken. Those who crave that spicy hot flavor can turn up the heat by serving the dish with kimchi, that extremely hot and pungent fermented vegetable dish available in Asian markets.
I based my recipe on one I found in a favorite cookbook, Everyone Loves Chicken. The suggestion to prick the chicken all over with the tip of a sharp knife was a good one as it allowed the marinade to really permeate the meat. I marinated the chicken overnight, but that isn't necessary; two hours will do.
5 WW pts per serving
3 scallions, chopped
3 tbs mirin (rice wine) or sherry
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
Combine the scallions, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp of the sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a zip close plastic bag. Add the chicken, press out the air, and seal the bag. Turn to coat the chicken and refrigerate at least two hours or up to overnight.
Lift the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add the remaining tsp sesame oil, and add the chicken. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. Turn the chicken to coat with this syrupy liquid and serve.
I removed the chicken after 10 minutes and kept it warm while I further reduced the liquid. The result was well-coated pieces of chicken that were spicy and sweet, very moist, and perfect with some jasmine rice and an Asian vegetable stirfry. I found that I preferred this preparation to the shoyu chicken that has always been a favorite. Both are very flavorful and result in perfectly cooked chicken, but this one had more interesting contrasting flavors.