We’ve talked about braising in Coke before, and I’m still a huge fan.
Especially after this recipe. It sounds weird if you’ve never done it before, but I promise the dish doesn’t end up tooth-achingly sweet the way Coke classic sometimes is, especially since it’s balanced by the salt from the soy sauce. The soda just lends a subtle sweetness and a slightly acidic braising liquid that penetrates the chicken and makes it tender and juicy. Honestly, after making this dish, I wondered if the “secret ingredient” my grandmother used for her braises wasn’t Coke.
And really, there’s nothing better than a hearty, one-pot braise on a cold evening, especially when that braise only took a few minutes to throw together, then perhaps a half hour of happy bubbling on the stove.
Coke Braised Chicken
Adapted from Beyond Kimchee.
Makes 4 servings.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, trimmed and cleaned (see Note)
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger or 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
16 fluid ounces Coca-Cola
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
3 medium-sized potatoes, 1″ dice
3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
4 dried red bird’s eye chillies
chopped parsley for garnish
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken, browning well on both sides. Once the chicken is browned, remove to a plate.
Turn the heat down to low and add the onion and a big pinch of salt. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Add the Coca-Cola, soy sauce, and rice wine and, using a spatula, scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Return the chicken to the pot, submerging it as much as you can. Scatter the potatoes, carrots, and chillies around the chicken. Turn the heat up to medium-low and bring to a simmer; cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium-high, boiling until the sauce looks reduced by about half. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with rice.
I used skin-on, bone-in legs and thighs. I found that the chicken skins got a bit tough after braising, so you can remove them before cooking if desired.
Music to cook by: The Suburbs [Arcade Fire // The Suburbs]