Gimme Gimme All the Kimchi

Oh what to do, what to do with the last little bit of kimchi remaining in the jar? It’s a bit like the last bit of good Dijon mustard that you don’t wanna waste, but isn’t enough for a sandwich. Kimchi is just like that. It’s delicious, loaded with great probiotics, and lasts a crazy long time due to the sodium and fermentation. You’re also getting a good dose of veggies too!

Kimchi is a bit like German sauerkraut, but involves much more than cabbage. Napa cabbage is combined with other pungent veggies such as green onion, radish, ginger, and of course garlic. Strong chili powder called gochugaru is added and the whole thing is fermented in airtight containers. A Korean friend of mine swears this crunchy, briny, spicy mess it goes on everything. And honestly, I’m really beginning to think she’s right! Well, anywhere you can use sauerkraut… Hot dogs, chicken fried chicken, fried rice, pho, and fries!

So when I was perusing a back issue of Bon Appétit Magazine and saw this recipe for Roast Chicken and Kimchi Smashed Potatoes I felt like it would best use up that last bit of kimchi left in the jar. It’s a recipe that’s not purposely Asian, but hints at more exotic origins while still bearing the homestyle flair of chicken and potatoes. The finished dish is elevated by a scattering of bitter greens and a zippy combination of kimchi brine and rice vinegar. I opted to use a blend of Sprouts Organic Super Greens (a “medley of organic baby spinach, mizuna, chard, and kale) for this finishing touch and my choice in this was anything but offensive.

The bitter greens balanced the spiciness of the kimchi and blended well with the creaminess of the baby creamer potatoes I chose and meatiness of the chicken thighs. And can someone tell me why chicken thighs always seem to go better with Asian flavors than chicken breasts? Perhaps it’s just a preference on my part, but chicken thighs just always seem to support the entire dish better — pun intended.

Fresh crushed garlic rubbed onto the chicken prior to pan-searing, produced the most perfect golden, crispy seasoned chicken. It was so good that halfway into the first one, I had to restrain myself from grabbing another… Don’t get me wrong, the potatoes were amazing with the added oomph from the kimchi, but I definitely tried to make sure each bite carried all the flavors of the dish. I couldn’t bear to miss out on even one of the flavors!

What are some of the more versatile ingredients in your kitchen arsenal?

Currently Reading: Good Housekeeping Magazine, May 2017 issue

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