This is a follow on from our Korean Fried Popcorn Chicken recipe and although it’s not fried, it’s easily as satisfying and at only 200Kcals per portion is guilt free too. Now don’t get us wrong, the sauce remains almost the same as the fried recipe, with the addition of some Light Soy Sauce. It’s just the fact the chicken is not coated and deep fried. For this recipe it is first seared in a hot pan and finished off in the oven. In our experience this is the perfect way to cook juicy and tender chicken breasts.
So how do I cook it?
This one is even easier than the fried version. Its not coated, so no flour is needed, and no eggs for that matter. The main thing is to put a bit of love into the chicken breast itself. Trim the gristle and fatty bits – supermarket chicken is especially notorious for not having good quality trimmed chicken, so put a bit of work into cleaning them up so there are no nasty surprises.
Next up we advise to butterfly the chicken if it’s relatively large – and instead of keeping it joined together like a normal butterfly breast, slice it right through to create two pieces. Then use your knife to tenderise it (very important even if not butterflying). First we use the sharp edge to bash the chicken lightly on each side, then we use the thicker back of the knife to tenderise further, and finally we finish off by using the flat side of the knife and “slapping” the chicken a couple times to smooth it out – see our video tutorial below to get an idea of what we mean.
Then we make our sauce, which is very easy. Simply combine all the ingredients bar the garlic and wine and combine together with some water. The sauce will thicken as the water begins to evaporate whilst simmering on the hob and in the oven. In fact, it’s very important the get the sauce simmering before baking – make sure the oven is hot too.
The last step is cooking the chicken to perfection and combining with the sauce. The cooking is a two stage process – first is searing in a hot pan for a couple minutes until golden but not cooked through. Second is to add the garlic, wine, and korean sauce and bring to a simmer before putting in a hot oven for around 10 minutes. That’s it.
If you’re serving with rice, noodle or vegetables, best to get those cooking whilst the chicken is in the oven.
Baked Korean Chicken Breasts
- Oven proof and hob proof frying pan / baking dish (Cast Iron is best)
- Glass jug
- Wooden spoon / scraper
- 2 Large Chicken Breasts or 4 small breasts
- 3 tbsp Gochujang Paste
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 large Clove of Garlic
- 2 tbsp Neutral Oil for cooking i.e. ground nut, vegetable, rapeseed
- 2-3 tbsp Shoaxing wine can be found in most good supermarkets
- 1 tsp Black Sesame Seeds
- 1-2 tsp Freshly Chopped Chives chop right at the very end for serving
- Trim the chicken of any gristle and then butterfly them into two piecesTop Tip - to butterfly means to cut in half and fold it open like a butterfly's wings. See the video tutorial for more info.
- Use the first the top of the knife to very lightly tenderise the meat and second use the back of the knife to tenderise further. Lastly use the side of the knife to hit the chicken flat. Top Tip - this is a method of tenderising often found in asian cooking and it works really well.
- Season with salt and leave to one side.
- Make the korean sauce - add the gochujang, ketchup, honey and sugar to the glass jug and whisk together until combined. Add 150ml of water and whsik further.
- Mince the garlic eithe with a knife of a garlic press.
- Put the pan on a medium heat and pre heat the oven to 180C (fan assisted).
- When the pan is hot and the oil, then add the chicken breasts carefully avoiding oil splash.
- Sear the chicken on one side until golden - roughly 2-3 minutes.Top Tip - we are not looking for it to be cooked here as we will finish it off in the oven. It keeps the breast super juicy, whislt having a delicious golden crust.
- Flip the chicken over, turn the pan down a notch and move the chicken to one side of the pan. Now add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.Top Tip - add a little oil to the garlic to prevent burning.
- Add the Shaoxing wine and let it sizzle and simmer off for 30 seconds. Mix into the garlic with the wooden spoon.
- Now add the korean sauce straight into the pan. Turn up the heat to get the sauce bubbling. Mix with the wooden spoon to combine well with the garlic and wine.
- One bubbling all over, add to the pre heated oven and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.Top Tip - now is the time to get the rice on if serving, as well as veg.
- Once cooked let cool for a few mintues on a trivet or heat proof mat. Be careful as the pan will be hot.
- Once cooled enough to eat, slice each breast portion and place onto freshly cooked rice.
- Serve an extra spoonul of sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle over some sesame seeds and freshly chopped chives.
- Butterfly the chicken to make it tender and go further. To butterfly means to cut in half and fold it open like a butterfly's wings. See the video tutorial for more info.
- Tenderise the chicken with your knife. The method we use here is often found in asian cooking and it works really well.
- Searing the chicken first for a brief amount of time and finishing in the oven yield superior chicken breasts - always juicy if done right. Try not to over cook.
- When cooking the garlic, turn the heat down and wait a second. Then add the garlic and douse with a little oil if necessary to prevent burning.
- Make sure the sauce is bubbling before going into the oven or it won't cook properly. ALSO - make sure the oven is full up to temp before baking.
- Serve with anything you like - white fluffy rice is really good. When the chicken goes into the oven, this is when you can get cooking your sides. Noodles, stir fried veg and even a bun would go so well with this.