Dakdoritang, Korean Chicken Stew

Everybody has a chicken stew.  Koreans even have two!  This is a spicy gochujang based one, but they obviously have a sweet soy chicken stew too.  After all there are really only two flavors in Korean food, spicy gochujang/gochukaru and sweet soy.

This follows the same rules as my other chicken stews.

2-3 lbs of chicken thighs, drumsticks or leg quarters, remove skin and bones if preferred
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp of peeled ginger, thinly sliced
1 tbsp of shrimp paste, optional
3 tbsp of gochujang
1 tbsp of doubanjiang or an additional tbsp of gochujang
1 tbsp of gochugaru or more to taste
3 cups of chicken stock or kombu/anchovy stock
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tbsp of honey or more to taste
2 small russet potatoes, about 1.25 lbs, in large chunks
12 oz of carrots in large chunks
handful of spring onions cut into 1-2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 325 F

1. Saute onion, garlic and ginger in some oil until softened.  Then add gochujang, doubanjiang and gouchgaru and stir fry for a minute or two.

2. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and honey and bring to a simmer.  Then add potatoes and carrots and return to a simmer.  Place in oven uncovered for 30 minutes.

3.  Remove pot from oven and put over high heat on stove.  Add chicken to pot, return to a simmer and then return to oven for 30 minutes.

4. Add spring onions to pot and return to oven for another 15 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and simmer on stovetop if vegetables are not tender enough.  Season with additional soy sauce, honey or gochugaru and sesame oil.


Morning Buns, Two Ways

**Update** The chocolate filling as written is too bitter.  I adapted it from a babka recipe which had a bit more sugar directly in the dough which may have compensated for this quality.


There seems to be some confusion about what morning buns are.  Many recipes seem to be confusing them with cinnamon rolls and are making them with rich brioche doughs.  In reality, morning buns are sweet, cinnamon pastries made with a laminated croissant dough.  Here, Cook’s Country cheats with a quick puff pastry.

Kouign amann are similar in their modern incarnation, but originally kouign amann were large butter cakes and not the petite pastries they are typically sold as now.

I have added a bit of sugar outside of the dough in order to give it a crunchy, caramelized texture akin to kouign amann.  I also include a traditional cinnamon filling and an alternate chocolate filling.


(Heavily adapted from Cook’s Country)

3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
24 tablespoons (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices and chilled
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream, chilled
¼ cup (2 ounces) orange juice, chilled
3 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg yolk

Additional 1/2 cup sugar

1. For the dough Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Add butter to bag, seal, and shake to coat. Press air out of bag and reseal. Roll over bag several times with rolling pin, shaking bag after each roll, until butter is pressed into large flakes.

2. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sour cream, orange juice, ice water, and egg yolk with wooden spoon until combined. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds.

3. Press and roll dough into 20 by 12-inch rectangle, with short side parallel to counter edge. Roll dough away from you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.

4. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Transfer to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes.

1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup packed (3½ ounces) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate *Don’t Use*
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
4.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg white

For cinnamon filling: Combine all ingredients in bowl.

For chocolate filling: Microwave chocolate, butter, and cocoa together in medium bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir in sugar until combined and let cool completely. Whisk in egg white until fully combined and mixture turns glossy.

5. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and roll into 20 by 12-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge. Spread filling, leaving ½-inch border around edges.

6. Roll dough away from you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam closed, then reshape cylinder as needed to be 20 inches in length with uniform thickness.

7. Grease 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Coat bottom and sides of muffin cups with 2 tablespoons sugar and tap out excess.

8. Spread ¼ cup sugar onto bottom of shallow dish.  Using serrated knife, trim ½ inch dough from each end and discard. Cut cylinder into 12 pieces and coat with sugar in dish and then place cut side up in muffin cups. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours. (Unrisen buns can be refrigerated for at least 16 hours or up to 24 hours; let buns sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)

9. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle buns with 2 tablespoons sugar and sea salt and press to adhere. Bake until buns begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to bake until buns are deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking. Let buns cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and discard liners. Serve warm.

Coconut Caramel Banana Cream Pie

I happen to like both coconut and banana cream pie, however both are missing something.  Coconut pies are just a pile of custard and banana pies are often just sliced bananas under some pastry cream.  So lets amp it up and combine them!  Warning this makes a pretty sweet dessert overall.

Coconut Pie Crust

Blind bake a half recipe of the above, substituting 1.5 oz of sweetened shredded coconut for flour in the first step and dropping one tablespoon of butter.

Caramel Bananas
Slice two bananas into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

Add 3 tablespoons water to small saucepan, then pour ½ cup sugar into center of saucepan. Gently stir sugar with clean spatula to wet thoroughly. Bring to boil and cook until sugar mixture turns dark amber, 5 to 8 minutes, swirling pan occasionally once sugar begins to color. Off heat, add 3 tablespoons heavy cream (caramel will bubble vigorously) and pinch salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and a tablespoon of dark rum.  Mix in banana slices to cover in caramel and then pour into prepared pie shell.

Coconut Custard
*Note – Most of the coconut flavor is supplied by the shredded coconut and as such using coconut milk is not required.
3 cups mixture of unsweetened coconut milk or whole milk
5 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (3½ ounces) sugar
1 and 1/3 cup (4 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all but last two ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir continuously until mixture reaches 180 degrees or about 2 minutes after it starts to boil.  This is important to neutralize an enzyme in egg yolks that will destroy the cornstarch.  Stir in shredded coconut and vanilla.  Pour custard over bananas in crust.

Garnish with whipped cream and additional toasted coconut if that is your thing.