Smoke does not play a large role in Korean cuisine, and because fuel was traditionally precious and scarce, proteins are often sliced thin or pounded so they cook quickly. Serve this simple but flavorful chicken with steamed rice or noodles and a lightly dressed salad or bottled Korean kimchi (pickled vegetables, usually cabbage). For those who enjoy a little more spice, add in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or your favorite asian chili sauce.
KOREAN BARBECUED CHICKEN (TAK KUI)
Prep time: 20 minutes plus 4 to 6 hours for marinating the chicken
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
Pellet recommendation: Apple or Cherry
2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup rice wine, sake, or white vermouth
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 green onions, trimmed, white and green parts finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dark Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Place the thighs between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound gently with the flat side of a meat mallet until they’re about 1/3 inch thick.
Transfer to a sturdy resealable plastic bag. Make the marinade: In a small bowl, combine the rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, green onions, ginger, lemon juice, sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Stir until the sugar crystals dissolve. Pour over the chicken, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Massage the bag once or twice to ensure the chicken marinates evenly.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to High and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer on the grill grate and grill, turning once with tongs, until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. Arrange the chicken on a platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!