Scrumptious Korean Barbecue Chicken
Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, barbecue chicken was a summer staple. Any event — from church socials to political fundraisers — had to serve it. Our style of barbecue involves slathering the meat with a sticky red sauce, which is both mildly spicy and sweet. For me, that sauce, perfectly compliments the smokiness of the grill. It is finger-licking good, and most folks go home with the barbecue stains to prove it.
So, Korean barbecue was an easy sell for me. It hits all the right flavor notes in a new and exciting way. The fermented chili paste, known as gochujang, gives the chicken a gorgeous red hue without imparting too much heat.
This recipe is an addictive Korean take on Maryland barbecue. While we don’t typically marinate barbecue chicken in Maryland, I have found that this Korean chicken benefits tremendously from a long marinating time. It is genuinely worth it to keep the chicken in the marinade for as long as 24 hours, if possible. The longer marinating time allows the flavors to really penetrate the meat.
If you don’t have time to marinate the chicken for more than an hour or two, I strongly advise you to dry brine it for at least 30 minutes, prior to marinating. Dry brining is a technique I use quite often.
If dry brining is unfamiliar to you, I urge you to give it a try. It is a quick, easy way to create a juicier, more flavorful dish. For more information on dry brining, check out the instructions from Meathead Goldwyn, the barbecue expert behind Amazing Ribs.
In case you can’t fire up the grill, I have also given instructions for baking this chicken in the oven. While the results won’t be smoky, the chicken will be flavor-packed.
I normally serve this dish along with Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickles and steamed rice.