Korean Fried Wings (Dakgangjeong Maangchi’s Way)

June 15, 2014 § 6 Comments

I love fried chicken wings, so much that I can eat it every day. No, really, I think I can truly eat fried chicken wings every day. I’ve been takoyaki’ed out, hell, even bbq”ed out (crazy right?). But I have never said in my life, “Okay, I’m done with wings for a while.” Never. Ever. As a matter of fact, I crave those damn things all the time.

So no surprise that new fried wings recipes are always on the top of my “to try” list. And I think I have more fried wings recipe posts than anything else. The latest wings recipe that’s found a solid, and most likely permanent, place in the recipe binder is Maangchi’s Dakgangjeong recipe. You can check out Maangchi’s website for an instruction video as well as many more delicious Korean recipes.

Let me describe these wings short and sweet. They are like crack-addictive delicious. Can’t get enough, eat ’til your guts bust but you’ll keep eating addictive. That pretty much sums up my feelings about these.

I’ve adjusted the recipe according to my taste. I do like them a little on the spicier side so adjust to your own taste. I like to use Thai chili if I have them with a bit of gochugaru, Korean hot pepper flakes. I found that using ground ginger works better since it’s dry coated. But use sparingly if you’re not too into the ginger taste.

Don’t know what to make for Father’s Day? Try this and it’ll surely be a Happy Father’s Day.”

Adapted from Maangchi Crispy and Crunchy Fried Wings

Ingredients:

  • approx. 3 pounds chicken wings, cut into individual sections, about 24 pieces (no wing tips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon gochugaru (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon minced ginger)
  • 2/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (more if you’re like me)
  • 3 to 4 large dried red chili peppers, seeded, cut crosswise into ⅓ inch pieces (optional, or 1 teaspoon chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup (or Korean rice syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (classic mustard works fine. Can use dry mustard but only use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Pat wings dry with paper towels.
  2. Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with salt, ginger, ground black pepper and gochugaru (if using). Rub it all in.
  3. Put corn starch in a bowl and dip each wing in the starch to coat it, one by one. Squeeze each wing to press the coating to it tightly.
  4. Put 4 cups of cooking oil in a frying pan or heavy pot. Heat over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. I’ve gone as high as 375 and as low as 335 with no problem. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dipping a test wing into the oil, carefully. If the oil bubbles, it’s hot enough to start frying.
  5. Slide the coated wings one by one into the hot oil and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning over a few times with tongs. I find that the wings cook faster when the pot isn’t crowded.
  6. Take the wings out of the oil and drain for a bit in a strainer. Turn off the heat, and let the wings sit for a few minutes. Make the sauce now (see below).
  7. Reheat the oil and fry the wings again for another 10 minutes until they all look golden brown and feel super crunchy through the tongs. Shorter time for smaller wings.
  8. When the chicken is done, reheat the sauce, if needed, until it bubbles. Remove from heat.
  9. Add the hot chicken and mix well with a wooden spoon to coat. I find doing the coating in a large mixing bowl is easier.
  10. Transfer  to a large platter. Sprinkle  some sesame seeds over top and serve immediately.

For the sauce:

  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil, minced garlic, and dried red chili pepper.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add soy sauce, rice syrup, vinegar and mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon and let it bubble for a few minutes.
  4. Add the brown sugar and continue stirring. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

September 12, 2012 § 8 Comments

Well first off let me, once again, apologize for such a crappy picture. You see, this dish is so delicious that it’s hard to get a picture since plates get snatched out of my hands while I’m serving it. This a quick photo shot that just doesn’t do this dish justice. But trust me, this is one of those wonderful comfort foods, especially if you like chicken.

The recipe is adapted from Emeril’s recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs. I’ve changed a few things to accommodate my own taste but I’ve linked it back to the original recipe for reference. One of the biggest change is switching  chopped fresh rosemary to rosemary powder. I’m not a huge fan of rosemary since I find it overpowering in many dishes and I hate the texture of it when eating, chopped or not. What I like to do is grind dried rosemary into a powder and use it that way. Not only do I get the rosemary fragrance and flavor, I also don’t have to worry about little pieces of rosemary shards in the back of my throat (hwack!). I’m sure some of you know what I mean. I use a mortar and pestle to grind the dried rosemary in batches to keep on hand as substitution for rosemary leaves. This is especially nice for recipes that call for rosemary in rubs.

The other modification was adding white wine. I felt the wine added a bit more depth and flavor to the sauce and to the chicken. The recipe calls for thighs but I like using whatever chicken pieces on hand. For this particular meal, I had all parts, including breasts. The sauce is one of those that’s delicious to mop up with whatever your serving it over. We particularly like it with steamed (or baked) sweet potatoes. You could serve it over mashed sweet potatoes but I like the meatiness of a whole sweet potato in this case.

Fall is just around the corner, although you’d never know it in San Diego. And this is a wonderful dish to prepare for the upcoming milder (hopefully) temperatures. Hope everyone is having a good week!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Essence (recipe here)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about a 1/4″ thick)
1 cup sliced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock, low sodium preferred
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon rosemary powder
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Directions:
Set a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Season the chicken thighs with the Essence, salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear on the second side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the butter and mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring often to make a light brown roux, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add wine, bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, stock, thyme and rosemary to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down. Cover pan and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until the meat is very tender, about another 20-30 minutes. Serve the chicken over rice, sweet potato, mashed potato, or rice. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Hong Kong Fried Noodles – Revisited

January 9, 2012 § 10 Comments

For New Year’s Day, I decided to make Hong Kong style fried noodles with seafood. The original post with the recipe can be found here. I’ve updated the recipe since that first time and I think the sauce is much better now. As with most stir-fry recipes, you can add just about any kind of protein and vegetables to this dish. I typically like to have at least shrimp and squid in this. But it’s great with  pork, beef, chicken, fish, even tofu.

I did a couple of things different this time. I blanched the noodles a few hours ahead and them laid out two (very large) servings on a baking sheet to dry out the noodles. I thought this might help with the frying of the noodles and although the noodles didn’t fry any faster, it did make the noodles more crunchy throughout.  The previous method left some of the noodles in the middle softer. So depending on whether you like crunchy noodles like I do or a mixture of soft and crunchy, pick the method to your liking.. Here are the fried noodle cakes resting. BTW, the majority of the pictures in this post was taken by the Mister. I was kind of up to my ears in prep so I asked him to be my photographer and just take pictures as he saw fit.

I decided to use some shrimp and baby squid this time, about a pound of shrimp (shelled and deveined) and about half a pound of baby squid, already cleaned. I had both seafood marinading together but in hindsight I should have done these two separately since the shrimp was so large, it took longer for them to cook through. I removed the squid from the wok as it cooked but was kind of a pain in the ass. Would have been much easier if I had thought it through in the beginning.

I also bought a humungo lobster from 99 Ranch (that sucker was 4.5 lbs), which I steamed ahead of time, which took about 30 minutes to steam. That big boy was going to be 2 meals! Here’s the size of the lobster tail, about 1 lb of meat. I saved that for our meal the next night. The meat in the bowl was all claw meat.

For the fried noodles, I used only claw meat. Here’s an action shot of the chaos of removing lobster meat. Most of the lobster shell is in the freezer for when I need to make some lobster stock.

I doubled the sauce ingredients on this one since I was doing 2 noodle cakes. Since I was going through all the trouble of de-meating the lobster, I wanted to make sure I had leftovers. Other things I had in this version were bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. I had sliced sweet onions but completely forgot to add those but we didn’t miss them.  Here’s the only shot I took, my plate. Yum!

This would have easily fed 4 hungry people but the leftovers made 2 delicious lunches for me! Dang, now I want some more…

Char Siu Chicken

August 13, 2011 § 6 Comments

I grilled some free range quarter chickens a couple of weeks ago that turned out to be the best char siu chicken to date. Since these were chicken quarters (thigh + drumstick +a bit of back bone), I didn’t marinate in the char siu sauce like I do with chicken wings. Why? The pieces are much thicker and bigger and would require a longer grilling time. And with all that sugar in the char siu sauce, the quarters would most likely burn before it cooked through. Hey, I like a little charred chicken skin as much as the next guy but that still is a lot of sugar grilling for a rather long time.  Instead, I grilled the chicken first and then mopped several times for the last 15 minutes of grilling. Lightly seasoned with salt & pepper then onto a medium-high heat charcoal grill.You can, of course, do this on a gas grill too. I seared the chicken over hot natural charcoals to start and then used indirect heat to finish.

While the chicken grilled, I made the sauce. Main ingredients are as follows:

I don’t use exact amounts for the sauce but probably around 3:1 ration of char siu sauce to chili garlic sauce. I add a bit of soy sauce (Tamari in this case), around 2-3 tablespoonful. Mix and taste, adjust to your preference of salty to sweetness liking. When the chicken’s internal temperature reaches about 160 degrees F, I start mopping. Coat one side, flip. Repeat on the topside and grill for about 2 minutes. Then flip and coat the top side again, repeat several more time until the internal meat temperature reaches 170 degrees F.

Once I start mopping, that’s when I put the veggies on. I used the new grill pan again, this time adding some cherry tomatoes from the garden. Here’s a shot of the pan without the handle. Fits nicely on the grill with the lid on.

If you’re interested in a grill pan like this (and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves grilled vegetables), I just saw the exact same pan at Costco. It was around $29 and it also came with a larger rectangular grill pan without a lid. The set was cheaper than I what I bought single pan for so definitely an excellent deal. The rectangular pan would be great for grilling anything that might fall through the grill grates. This has become the Mister’s new summer favorite way to eat his veggies and chicken.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Kung Pao Chicken 2

June 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve been doing a lot of stir-fries. It’s all due to a new cookbook I got, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. I like this cookbook because Grace Young not only gives a very good intro on the ins and outs of stir frying, she also offers a lot of traditional dishes adapted by Chinese people living in areas where traditional ingredients isn’t readily available. I love this because I tend to cook with whatever is on hand and what I think would make good substitutes. My grandmother was pretty traditional in her cooking, never swaying from the tried and true recipes. But mom was not as much, me even less. She would use traditional ingredients but she turned her nose up in regards to some the old rules that hardcore cooks followed. For instance, never add green onions if there are regular onions in a dish.

What’s been great about all the stir fries lately is that I make enough so there’s leftovers for at least one more meal. I was telling the Mister I just don’t know how Mom and Nai Nai (grandmother) cooked just about ever night. Not just one dish, often 3-4 dishes for dinner. I have a confession, I can’t do that. As quickly as stir fry cooks, the prep does take time. Everything chopped and sauces ready to stir in. I’ve made some 3-dish meals lately and I just can’t but feel exhausted thinking about doing that every night. But I still enjoy the whole process, just not every night.

The first dish I made was the Kung Pao Chicken. The Mister and his mom love to order KPC but I’ve never been a fan of the ABCDE versions. This one, however, I like.

For those looking for a more Paleo version, I’ve added the substitutions to the right of the ingredient in red italics and within parentheses.

Adapted from Grace Young’s Stir-frying to the Sky’s Edge

Paleo diet ingredient substitution in red.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce (Tamari)
  • 2 teaspoon sugar (black strap molasses or maple sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablspoon chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (extra virgin avocado oil)
  • 4-8 dried red chile peppers, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted, ground Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/inch squares
  • 1/2 cup scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (pecans or walnuts, optional)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, 1 teaspoon sugar (black strap molasses or maple sugar), 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.

In a separate small bowl, mix together broth, vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and remaining rice wine, set aside.

In a large wok on high heat, swirl in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chiles and ground Sichuan peppercorns, stir fry for 15 seconds until the chiles start to smoke a little and darken. Push the chili mixture to one side of the wok, add the chicken and spread it evenly on the bottom of the wok. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Then stir fry the chicken and the chiles together for another minute until the chicken is lightly browned. The chicken won’t be cooked all the way through yet.

Swirl in remaining tablespoon of oil. Add bell peppers and stir fry for 1 minute or so until the peppers start to soften. Add the nuts (if using) and scallions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir fry for 30-60 seconds until the chicken is cooked through and the scallions are bright green. Serve hot. How about serving over some cauliflower fried rice for an all paleo experience?.

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