Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

com·fort food
noun
  • 1.  food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.

What’s so great about comfort food is that it can really be anything.  It’s all personal.  Comfort food is about what makes YOU feel good.

It might be warm and gooey like home baked chocolate chip cookies.

It might be cheesy and creamy like a mac and cheese.

It could even be crispy and crunchy like deep fried chicken.

For my boyfriend Dave and I… comfort food is Asian Takeout.  Thai, Indian, Szechuan, or plain old Chinese… any type will do the trick.  It’s just so darn comforting.  Add some spice and you’ll probably make something that we’ll consider our “favorite meal ever”.  We just love the stuff.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you not only because it’s delicious, but because I found it on a Cooking Light Comfort Food collection.  I couldn’t believe this was on there… right up our alley.  This unique Korean chicken dish is on the same list as some pretty soul-soothing recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, and so many more.  It was just sitting there on the webpage screaming for me to make it.  So I did.

Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

Recipe Makes:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chile sauce)*
  • 1/4 cup (1/2-inch) slices green onion bottoms
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice (I used Wegman’s Aztec Blend: Ancient Grains, Red Rice, Brown Rice, and Split Peas)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup slices green onion tops
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken. Cover and marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. While rice cooks, bring 1/3 cup water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add chicken mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in green onion tops and spinach. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

Recipe from:  Cooking Light 2012

*Note about Gochujang: Gochujangis an indispensable Korean sauce based on fermented soybeans and chiles. You’ll find it in Asian markets, or seek out Annie Chun’s brand, which is more widely available.  Or just use some Sriracha like I did!

**Note about serving size:  Dave and I like everything we eat to be super saucy.  This recipe above will make four servings.  I halved the chicken and the rice but kept the rest the same.  This way, there was a ton of spinach and extra sauce.  If you want to make four servings and have it be extra saucy like me… just double the sauce/marinade section.

Sweet lookin' marinade we've got here!  Whisk it up and add the chicken.

Sweet lookin’ marinade we’ve got here! Whisk it up and add the chicken.

What it looks like after a half hour.  Give it a good stir or two.

What it looks like after a half hour. Give it a good stir or two.

I really like Wegman's Ancient Grains blends.  They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice :)

I really like Wegman’s Ancient Grains blends. They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice 🙂

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

Ta-Da!!

Ta-Da!!

What was really exciting to me about this recipe is that it calls for Chicken Thighs.  This might seem normal to most people, but I have a hard time getting Dave to eat anything but white meat when it comes to chicken.  I decided to just go for it and the sauciness and sweet/spicy smell permeating through the house would convince him to eat it.  And it did.  And he liked it.  Go figure.

Now, what I want to know is what is your favorite comfort food?  Leave me a comment, I’d love to try some of your favorite feel-good recipes!  

Here are a few of my personal most comforting recipes on the blog so far…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

BBQ Deviled Eggs

BBQ Deviled Eggs

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