Healthy chicken recipes: Braised chicken with sweet potato & deonjang (된장 닭도리탕)

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Welcome to Hungry Gopher, Gopher is hungry
for braised chicken. This is an original dish of mine inspired
by Thai curry and anchored by traditional Korean soy bean paste. This braised chicken dish is a great Sunday,one
pot meal, that cooks down slow, and makes for great lunch boxes during the
busy week. So let’s get it started! First, we’ll need one whole organic chicken
cut into pieces. Ask your butcher to cut the chicken for curry. My butcher did a wonderful job. The pieces are about 2 inch/4cm big. You can use larger pieces if you want, but
the benefits of using smaller pieces are a shorter cooking time
and also it helps release the nutrition from the bones into the broth more easily. Next, let’s saute the chicken first.  Start by adding 1 Tbsp of virgin coconut
oil to the pan over high heat. We’ll make one layer to begin, so we can
lightly brown this for about 5 minutes on one side,
which will give us extra flavors. And turn these when you see light brown color
at the bottom.

Then I am going to add the rest
and cook this over high heat for about 10 more minutes until the all color is turned. While that’s cooking, let’s make the sauce. We’ll need 4 Tbsp of Korean fermented soybean
paste aka deon-jang. Deon-jang is a staple Korean condiment that’s
widely used from a dipping sauce to seasoning stew. Think of it of as a Japanese Miso but with
a more pungent flavor profile. Make sure to check the ingredients when you
purchase this to avoid harmful food additives and preservatives. I’ll put a link to my online shopping recommendation
and more info about “deon-jang” on my website at

Add this to 1/2 cup of red wine and freshly
ground pepper. If you prefer not to use alcohol, use water
instead. Mix this well together. And let’s see how the chicken is doing,
looking good and smelling wonderful. Let’s add in our sauce. Give it a good stir and take care to scrape
the bottom of the pot, so all the brown bits get incorporated into the sauce. That’s the flavor party right there.

Let this cook over high heat until it comes
to boil which will take about 5 minutes. The beauty of using fermented condiments such
as deon-jang is that they provide such a depth of flavor to the dish instantly,
without much effort. Now that’s boiling. Lower the heat to medium. And let’s add 1 can of organic coconut milk
to the pot and give it a good stir. Cover this and continue to cook about 20~30
minutes until the chicken is cooked. While that’s cooking, let’s prepare the
vegetables. We’ll need 2 large Korean sweet potatoes,
aka goguma. Goguma is a common ingredient in Korean cuisine. Cut them into 1 inch/ 2 cm thick wheels. I have started seeing them increasingly more
at conventional grocery stores and farmer’s markets b
ecause their nutritional value have been praised more recently.  These are pale in color compared to yams. They are  dense and woody when raw,
but they cook down to be very soft and sweet.   If you cannot find these guys feel free to
substitute whichever sweet potato you can find.

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Next, we’ll roughly chop 1 large onion and
3 carrots. And… your choice of green vegetables. This is a perfect dish to utilize
any seasonal green vegetable. I use whatever green vegetables I can find
at my local farmer’s market for this dish. Collard greens, cabbage, bok choy, water morning
glory aka ong choy just to name a few.   Today, I’m using a combination of these
beautiful spring morning glory and bok choy. Roughly chopped these. Water morning glory is a common green vegetable
in East and Southeast Asian Cuisine.

It’s tender and mild and imparts a wonderful freshness to the dish.  So give it a try if you can find it in your
locale. And Finally, a handsome amount of fresh basil. Now that all the vegetables are ready. Let’s check on the chicken. That’s looking great. All the pieces look well cooked. So let’s add in the Korean sweet potato
and continue cooking for another 10 mins until they are cooked. I’ll show you what to look for to check
the doneness of goguma. We’re adding our ingredients in order of
how much time they need to cook.  Cooking in stages like this will result
in everything being cooked just right. Let’s check on the sweet potato. Use a chopstick to poke it through. When it goes through with a little resistance,
add the carrots and onions and continue cooking until the carrots are cooked to your liking. It’ll take about 8 minutes. Now, we’ll add the rest of the vegetables
– except the basil, and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, we’ll turn the heat off,
and add in our basil. Give it a stir and taste it for salt level.

It needs a little salt. Yum – Let’s see how we did! It’s my favorite time in the show — time
to taste Mhmmm — the combination of all these subtle
flavors meld into a wonderful harmony.  
The creamy potato with sweet notes and underlying umami of the soybean paste.  What a delight! Try this recipe and let me know how it goes,
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