Tomato-Kimchi Braised Chicken with White Wine & Bacon

Inspired by the kimchi bacon udon I cooked the other day, I set out to fuse kimchi with other stuff, this time, I thought, with western flavours. So, I did a slow braise using a base of tomatoes, white wine, kimchi, and gochujang. I thought, the tart accents of tomatoes would boost the sour tang of the kimchi, and boy did that hunch turn out right! Somehow, the tomatoes enhanced the piquancy of kimchi, while copious dashes of cumin complemented the spicy notes of kimchi and gochujang so the kick was pretty potent. Finally, a dry and crisp white wine just rounded them robust flavours all together and tied them up in a pretty little ribbon. How have I never thought to put these ingredients all together in a pot any earlier, I have no idea! And because I skipped the browning of the chicken, this recipe takes under an hour to whip up (including time allocated to braising), which translates to: quick and easy one-dish week-night dinner!!

Ingredients (feeds 4):
6 pieces chicken thigh
1 small yellow onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp gochujang
1 cup kimchi, chopped
3 tbsp kimchi juice
2 cups dry white wine (I used a dry Riesling)
1 can diced tomatoes
12 slices streaky bacon
12 baby portobello, diced
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp chives, minced, for garnishing

1) Fry bacon in canola oil till crisp. Set aside and cut into 1" cubes.

2) Reserving 1 tbsp of the bacon-infused canola oil, add sesame oil and fry onions till translucent, about 2 minutes on medium-high heat.

3) Add garlic, and fry till fragrant, about 1 minute.

4) Add kimchi and fry for about 1 minute, to "dry out" some of its water content.

5) Add gochujang, and toss through.

6) Add tomatoes.

7) Add white wine and kimchi juice.

8) Add chicken, nestling the pieces in one layer so the liquid doesn't cover the chicken.

9) Stir in mushrooms.

10) Add cumin, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for at least 40 minutes.

11) Just before serving, add bacon and stir through.

12) Serve garnished with fresh chives.

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