Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs

adminMay 25, 2022

Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs

Gochujang is the main ingredient in this recipe for Korean-style chicken. The char-grilled chicken thighs are smoky, and smo is coated and brushed with hot and sweet sauce, which delivers a punch. This recipe is easy to make, and you’ll want to cook it throughout the year!

Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken Thighs
There aren’t many smells that trigger my childhood memories, like the aroma of grilling up meat. Growing up in the home of the love of a Korean Mom, we would have chicken or ribs on the grill nearly every weekend during summer and into the autumn. If it were marinated in sweet soy sauce or topped with spicy gochujang sauce, we would always have that grill cooking with delicious flavors!

A favorite of my mom’s most simple and most delicious dishes started with gochujang, the sugar and soy sauce and vinegar slathered over the chicken she would throw onto the barbecue. The sugars would begin to caramelize, just a few minutes away from burning, the chicken was tender and juicy, and we’d drink the heat with cold cucumbers, hot rice, and a cold Coke! This is my version of grilling chicken on a hot Summer day.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang

Gochujang is a dark red, sweet, and spicy Korean paste made of chili peppers and insidious (sticky) rice and soybeans. It is typically made in large batches and stored in ceramic pots covered with a lid left outside in the sun to be fermented for a lengthy time, often for months. Commercial varieties aren’t left under the sun. However, they retain the original variety’s similar sweet, spicy, and almost smoky taste.

While gochujang can be found in traditional supermarkets but you’ll have to go to the Asian market or search on the internet to locate it. It’s usually wrapped in a square red container and will usually state the spice level at the bottom of the container.

If you’re concerned about the spice, do not be! While gochujang is made from hot chilies, it produces more of sweeter, milder heat through its fermentation and is not an intense blast of chili. However, like all things spicy, begin with the smallest amount and gradually increase the amount until you’ve reached your comfortable level.

Cooking using Gochujang

In most Korean households, gochujang is not used directly out of the container. Instead, it is utilized alongside other ingredients to create an ethereal or intense heat, based on the amount used. In Korean cooking, gochujang is typically used to enhance stews and soups and as a base for dips, marinades, and sauces.

For instance, my mom would make soupy tofu stews with a quickdubu jigae sauce made from gochujang and anchovies to make her broth. Also, the sauces used for the bibimbap (rice and bowl with vegetables) and bossam (pork belly lettuce wraps) are both made using Gochujang that has been flavored!

Adding Flavors to Gochujang

In this quick and easy grill Gochujang chicken breasts recipe, we’ll mix gochujang with apple juice, maple syrup, and some spices to reduce the heat and increase the sweetness. Making a tasty paste like this one will let you give a huge flavor to your chicken without having to wait for a long time in the marinade.

Cooking Chicken Thighs Using Direct/Indirect Heat

I prefer direct and indirect grilling in grilling anything, such as poultry, that needs to be cooked to perfection and you’d like to keep a delicious bite. Direct and indirect heat will give you an amazing grilling surface charred on the outside and perfect cooking inside.

In this way, one side of the gas grill is set to medium-high heat while one side gets turned completely unattended so that the hot side of the grill indirectly heats it.

When you cook on charcoal grills in the summer, all hot coals are moved toward an area on the other side. I prefer heating my grill to a medium-high temperature between 400 and 450 degF for about 10 to 15 minutes before beginning.

How to Grill Perfectly Juicy Chicken Thighs?

Place the chicken skin-side-down on the side directly heated on the grill, then close the lid in the oven for 3 and 5 minutes. It’s enough to make grill marks and rid some fat underneath the skin. When the fat melts on the grill surface, you can notice some flare-ups.

Don’t panic! If this occurs, you can flip the chicken pieces over to ensure even charcoal. After three to five minutes are completed, and your chicken is charred to the desired degree of char, flip the chicken upside down, skin side up, cover the lid and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Then, you’ll be using indirect heat on your grill. Place your chicken on an indirect area, skin-side up, then baste it with more paste and cover the grill with a lid. Thanks to the heat coming in on the hot side, the chicken will be cooked with no risk of burning or flare-ups. It functions as an oven. However, it is outside on your outdoor patio!

Safe Temperature for Grilled Chicken Thighs

The USDA declares that the safe temperature for chickens is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For drumsticks and chicken thighs, I prefer to raise this temperature to 170degF to get more tenderness and a smoother texture. By introducing that small temperature rise, the connective tissue inside the meat will break down a little more, which makes it more tender, and enjoyable to consume.

Grilled Chicken Thighs
How to Serve?

I would suggest serving it alongside sticky rice or Kimchi and some fresh, pickled vegetables or a fresh salad. It’s also great cut into pieces and eaten as a wrap for lettuce with some additional paste drizzled over the top!
Storage and Reheating

Place the chicken in an airtight dish no more than 2 hours following cooking. The remaining chicken will last for up or four days in the fridge.

To heat, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. To ensure that the chicken is moist, put it in an oven dish, add some teaspoons of liquid, cover it with foil, and cook until it attains the temperature of 165°F.

If you’d like to crisp the skin of the chicken, you can pop it in the oven for a few minutes. However, you must be careful because some of the syrup’s sugars could be burned quickly. You can also heat it using an air-fryer or in the microwave, following the instructions from the manufacturer.

 

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