“Two Potatoes. Half a bag of Carrots. Cucumber. 1/4 tub of kimchi. One Onion…”
The bare, empty shelves in our fridge seemed rather unwelcoming and pathetic. I was a little surprised. I swear that there was food there before. Somehow, food just disappears so quickly.
Oh boy. This is not good. Zoe and I were hosting a dinner party the same evening. I looked over at her – her arms crossed, her eyebrows furrowed and her face expressionless.
This really wasn’t a good planning on our part. Sometimes life and school gets hectic and you forget about things like your rather empty fridge. Not being able to drive was like being handicapped, because walking to the grocery store was nearly impossible with the time we had. It was at times like this I wish I could call on the expertise of my parents. I had missed having them around and being able to talk to them as much as I wanted to – daily, trivial issues that they always had answers to. It was something I always appreciated about living at home and about my parents. They had answers to everything. But then again, thats why we have the internet.
Two of us were immersed in our rather arduous task of thinking of a decent menu. But after a couple minutes of furious tapping, fluid hand movements, the internet worked magic – Andong Chicken. That was what we were going to make. We had all the ingredients to make it.
What is that?
Andong Chicken or Dakjjim is one of my go-to dishes that we have made multiple times over the past few years. Back in December, we had made this for a a dinner party for a group of our high school best friends. It definitely was the star of the night. This succulent, tender chicken braised in a sweet-spicy soy broth is an absolute crowd-winner. A bite of the soft carrots, potatoes and flavorful sweet potato glass noodles that has soaked up all the delicious broth. Oh my gosh. It was so good. It was my type of comfort food! Yup, its not mac n cheese or nachos or chili, its Andong Chicken!
That night we served this dish to a group of girls that came over for dinner. When we announced what we had made, most of them gave us blank stares, not knowing what Andong Chicken was. I watched as I saw the girls take the first bite into the succulent meat and take slurp of the noodles. As they did, surprised looks came across their faces. One of the girls looked up after tasting her first bite and said “This is so good.”
I knew they enjoyed it.
There was a lot of food. But by the end of the night the entire stew was gone.
Even though the morning was pretty chaotic and unexpectedly dramatic as we were trying to cook up this stew, it turned out to be an enjoyable evening. We had good food and good company.
After the delicious dinner, with a few sneaking back to get more chicken, we sat in a circle talking and laughing. We shared about how we personally felt about being a woman and being able to know who we are – as precious daughters of God. As each sister shared their thoughts and feelings, I just felt so inspired. These were wonderful woman who were all striving to find who they were and trying to live the best lives they could. Their lives were certainly not perfect but they didn’t give up and they had the strength to face their challenges. I felt so inspired by each of their comments.
We all face challenges in our lives. But one thing I learned tonight was that life just has so much to offer. We can choose to be happy and to choose to be confident with who we are. Because as we do, we are able to inspire and uplift those around us.
With our tummies full and our hearts all uplifted, it was a perfect way to end the night.
“Would we do this again?” – I asked the sisters before they left. They all nodded eagerly and said “Yes! Lets have another night of eating GOOD FOOD and good company!”
Wow. The Andong chicken must’ve been pretty convincing. I’m sure they will be back for more.
Adapted from Maangchi
Ingredients -serves 4
- 10 chicken drumsticks (3lbs) – use chicken wings, thighs
- 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 large cucumber, diced (optional)
- 150g Sweet Potato starch noodles (JapChae)
- 2-3 cloves Garlic
- 2 slices of ginger
- 1 large onion, sliced
- Black Pepper ( I like to add quite a big because it gives the stew a nice spicy kick)
- sesame seeds, green onion, garnish
- 1/4 cup GF Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Honey
- 1/4 cup GF Oyster Sauce
How to Make:
- Cut your chicken thighs (if using) into 1″ x 2″ pieces. If using breasts or drumsticks just trim off excess fat.
- Blanch the chicken in a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes.
- Soak you potato noodles in water (make sure it covers it)and set aside until you need it.
- Drain the drumstick and put into the pot again. Add in the sauce, potatoes, ginger, garlic, 2 1/2 -3 cups of water.
- Cover and cook over high heat for 10 minutes.
- Add in onion and carrots. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Keep the lid open
- Add in cucumber, potato noodles, mushrooms, red chili pepper. Cook for another 7-10 till the noodles and vegetables are soft.
- Turn off heat and season with black pepper. Transfer to a plate and add garnishes if you like.
Soy-Free: Substitute Soy Sauce with Coconut Aminos