My preference for chicken in this dish is actually thigh and drumstick and NOT breast. I also like it to be bone in, skin OFF, which basically means you're going to have to skin it yourself, because not many places offer bone in skin off. Skinning chicken is not one of the more fun jobs of cooking, but it isn't too difficult if you just get into it. What I mean by that is that you cannot try and skin chicken parts with two fingers - you need your entire hand. My solution to the squeamishness about handling chicken is to wear some disposable gloves and just grab the chicken and rip skin off in swift, quick movement, using my entire hand. Admittedly I do have to use the knife a bit on the drumsticks but the thighs are actually really easy to eliminate skin. So if you are looking for the EASIEST to skin, use bone-in thighs.
Why bone? Bones help cook the meat, and they also add an additional richness of flavor to the braising liquid. You are welcome to make this with boneless skinless chicken thighs and it will still taste good, but the bone adds a little bit of something special...it also helps keep the chicken from completely falling apart.
My LEAST favorite part of the chicken for this is the breast - it gets dry, stringy and tough and since there isn't any skin - it's just not that delicious. There are better dishes for cooking straight breast meat but this isn't one of them. (I will be posting a soy reduction glazed chicken dish which is GREAT with breast meat in the near future.) If you HAVE to use white meat, I'm not responsible.
Soy Braised Ginger Chicken (닭찜)
3 lbs of bone in, skin off chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons garlic
2 inches of ginger root, peeled, and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (this will be used to flavor the braising liquid so chopping it to death is not necessary)
1 tablespoon crushed sesame seed
Pepper to taste
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 onion cut into 2 inch chunks
In a large pot, add soy sauce, water, sugar, sake, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and sesame seed. Over low heat, slowly stir the braising liquid until all the sugar has melted and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Once the braising liquid is simmering, add all the chicken pieces all at once. Mix all the pieces with the braising liquid and then COVER and reduce the heat to medium low. You want to do is maintain a steady low simmer. (a few bubbles rising to the surface but not a raging inferno of bubbles) Cook at a simmer for 30 minutes.
Check the pot after 30 minutes. Stir the chicken. Add potatoes, carrots and onions, and stir carefully making sure the vegetables are well submerged into the braising liquid. Cover. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Serve with rice and don't be shy about taking the braising liquid and pouring it over your rice.