Samgyetang (Korean Stuffed Chicken w Ginseng)

Samgyetang (Korean Stuffed Chicken w Ginseng)

Samgyetang (Korean Stuffed Chicken w Ginseng)
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Author: oliviajasonkim
Date: 5-24-12
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 1 hours, 0 minutes
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Samgyetang, a healthy and invigorating chicken soup with dates (daechu) and ginseng (insahm) is a dish I have ambivalent feelings about. Even after almost a decade, it still conjures up images of my time in Korea where my boss forced me (ok, persuaded) to eat this soup in the dead-heat of summer. His reasoning/logic/explanation (take your pick) was that you have to eat this particular hot soup in order to prepare for or combat the summer heat (like fighting fire with fire I guess). Yes, I know what you are thinking and I won't even try to explain what my reply was to my boss. Anyway, I was confronted with this wildly fascinating annual phenomenon every summer when Koreans (thus my coworkers too) would flock to get their dose of this soup (and this soup alone!). And what do you know, life has come full circle and my conversion to Korean culture/superstition fulfilled when I found myself wanting this soup a few days back when the weather turned unexpectedly hot. Did it make me feel "colder" to the new warmer weather? Not one bit, but it did bring cooler weather that has lasted up until present time.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 Cornish hen (small chicken okay too)
  • 2 pieces of ginseng root (insahm)
  • 2 Korean red dates (daechu)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, whole
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice (chapsal)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 3 chestnuts (bahm; dried or fresh)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 8 cups of water
  • *I highly recommend purchasing pre-packaged samgyetang packets with ginseng, red dates, chestnuts, and sweet rice. They can be found at your local Korean grocery store and will save time and energy in the long run.

Recipe Steps:

  • Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes and then drain.
  • Wash the chicken thoroughly inside and out. Remove giblets that should be stuffed in a plastic bag inside the chicken. Chopping off the wings is optional but do not take off the chicken skin.
  • Stuff all the ingredients (minus the green onions and garlic) inside the cavity of the bird and tie/suture/sew the end with a thread if possible. I actually sewed mine with a thread and needle just in case.
  • Place the chicken in a large pot submerged in water. Throw in garlic cloves and extra sweet rice if you like and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam or scum that will eventually surface to the top. Let simmer on medium for 40 minutes.
  • Add the green onions and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Chicken should be to a point where the meat literally falls off the bones.
  • Serve alongside with salt and pepper shaker to season the soup for individual taste preference. Also, salt and pepper are used here as a "dipping" sauce for the chicken pieces to be eaten with.
  • Enjoy with rice and other banchan or side dishes.

Serving Size: 6
Preparation Time: 1 hours, 0 minutes

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