Roasted Gochujang Chicken with Potatoes Revisited

Image of a roasted Gochujang chickenBest Laid Plans
May is always a busy month of celebrations for me and my family. This May particularly is one that I have both looked forward to and dreaded because of its potential to be intense. This May there are four birthdays, two volleyball tournaments, Mother’s Day, a school musical, the end of a baseball era, five AP Exams, Senior Ball, and, to top it all off a high school Graduation. At a time when all hands on deck were required, I did not have time for Covid. Covid laughed and said, Hold my beer…

The bright side is that my husband and I are the only victims—which is a switch from when all three kids had it in January. The problem is that the inmates are now running the asylum. Two high school seniors and a sophomore are now in charge of everything in the house from groceries, to laundry, to taking care of the dog, to keeping up with dishes.

It’s been…interesting.

As you can imagine, meals are an issue since we’ve been sequestered in our bedroom. The good news is that they all can cook, and can cook well. I made sure of that. The bad news is that there are a lot of activities happening (see above) that take them away from the house and from our beck and call. (I mean continuing to live their lives? How rude!)

The situation has been somewhat eye-opening for them. The three kids now get a good picture of what their parents’ lives have been like for the past 18 years. This is why they’re happy to get out of the house whenever possible. Our issue is that we’re hungry…and we’re getting kind of tired of sandwiches (and possibly each other).

The current plan is to send up a flag or some flares and see if we can’t get some rescue tacos or an emergency roast chicken with potatoes. In the meantime, here is a repost of our Roasted Gochujang Chicken with Potatoes recipe from 2020.

Roasted Gochujang Chicken with Potatoes
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

In case you haven’t noticed, Korea’s gift to the culinary world, gochujang, has taken over menus everywhere and I am totally okay with that. I have become addicted to this stuff and what it does to the humble chicken.

1 3-1/2 to a 4-pound whole chicken
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of garlic
1-1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1-1/2 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes
5 scallions
2 limes
2 teaspoons honey

Preheat the oven
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 300 °F. (The exact temperature is important.)

Prepare the chicken
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a small-rimmed baking sheet and season the whole chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Be certain to season the inside cavity as well.

Make the sauce
Whisk 5 tablespoons of the gochujang and 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil together in a medium-sized bowl until combined. Finely grate 3 garlic cloves into the gochujang oil combination. Peel 1-1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger and grate it into gochujang oil. Whisk to combine ingredients.

Cut what’s left of the head of garlic in half crosswise. Repeat with the second head of garlic. Stuff 2 garlic halves inside the cavity of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.

Brush half of the gochujang oil over the chicken using a pastry brush.

Prep the potatoes
Toss 1/12 pounds of baby Yukon Gold potatoes and the remaining 2 garlic halves and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in the remaining gochujang oil until the potatoes are well-coated. Season them lightly with salt and pepper and toss everything again to combine.

Arrange the potatoes in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, scooting them toward the edges of the pan to make space for the chicken.

Nestle the garlic halves (with the cut sides down) in the center of the skillet. Place the chicken over the garlic. As the garlic roasts it will infuse the fat and potatoes with flavor. If any potatoes have shimmied their way under the chicken, use kitchen tongs to arrange them around the chicken.

Roast the chicken
Roast the chicken and potatoes, turning the potatoes once or twice to coat them in the juices and oil that accumulate in the pan. Roast until the potatoes are very tender when pressed with the back of a spoon, and the chicken skin is deep reddish-golden brown in color (about 21/2 to 3 hours).

When you wiggle the legs of the chicken, they should feel loose in the joints. This means the meat is fall-apart tender. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10–15 minutes. Don’t skip this step: Letting the bird rests helps the juices in the meat to settle and the chicken becomes juicer.

Meanwhile, use the back of a large spoon or a potato masher to gently smash the potatoes in the skillet, exposing some of their flesh to juices underneath so they can soak them up.

Finish the potatoes
Thinly slice 5 scallions on a long diagonal. Cut 2 limes in half. Cut 1 half into wedges and set aside. Stir 2 teaspoons of honey and the juice of the remaining lime half into the potatoes. Taste the potatoes and season with more salt (if needed). Scatter the sliced scallions over the potatoes.

Serve the chicken
Carve the chicken and arrange the pieces over the potatoes and scallions. You can serve it right out of the skillet with the remaining lime wedges alongside for squeezing. And, squeeze out the sweet, slow-roasted garlic cloves as you wish.

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