Gochujang-Yogurt Chicken With Garlic Butter Rice

October  4, 2022
47 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Ericka Martins. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There are few dishes that bring comfort quite like chicken and rice, no matter the country of origin. In this recipe, the gochujang-yogurt sauce does double-duty: 1. As a marinade for the boneless chicken thighs. The longer your marinate (up to a day), the tastier the chicken; but it will still taste great with even just an hour in the fridge. 2. As a base for the sauce that will accompany the final chicken and rice dish. Reserve a couple of tablespoons and mix it with a good mayonnaise to drizzle on top of the chicken, rice, lettuce, and tomatoes, or serve it alongside the final dish.

In this recipe, I turn to boneless skinless chicken thighs for a friendly weeknight version that cooks up under the broiler in less than 15 minutes. If you marinate the chicken the day before, you benefit from both enhanced flavor and quicker preparation day-of. As for the rice, fragrant basmati gets sautéed in a bit of butter and garlic before cooking on the stovetop with flavor-boosting chicken stock as its liquid agent for 15 minutes. It then gets steamed further off the heat, untouched for another 15 minutes to create fluffy grains without clumping. I recommend rinsing the basmati beforehand if you'd like, but there's no need to pre-soak the delicate grains.

The gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, brings a nice depth of flavor and spice that is tamed by yogurt's cool tang. The added benefit of yogurt and the onion, in addition to flavor of course, is that they’re also gentle meat tenderizers. The amount of gochujang called for in this recipe is just enough to bring some heat (my young daughter can tolerate it), but feel free to pump it up to suit your spice tolerance. Just make sure to whisk it in well into the rest of the marinade to avoid clumps. —Hana Asbrink

What You'll Need
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Gochujang-Yogurt Chicken With Garlic Butter Rice
  • Chicken & Rice
  • Chicken
  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, from about 4 to 5 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Garlic Butter Rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, from about 4 to 5 cloves
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, low- or no-sodium preferred
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Sauce & Garnishes
  • 2 tablespoons reserved marinade
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water to thin out, if thickened, before serving
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded, washed, and drained
  • 1 pound Campari (or cocktail) tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  1. Prepare the chicken marinade: In a bowl, combine yogurt, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the grated onion (reserve the rest), salt, and pepper. Whisk until well-combined and smooth, making sure the gochujang is mixed in. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade and transfer to another similarly-sized bowl. In a zip-top bag, place the chicken thighs and the rest of the marinade inside. Close the bag, remove excess air, and give the bag a good massage, ensuring every piece of chicken is well-coated with the marinade. Place the sealed bag flat on a plate and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours, or up to overnight. Remove chicken from refrigerator at least 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Prepare the garlic butter rice: Place a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, and any reserved grated onion from your marinade-making; cook until the butter has melted and the garlic and onion have softened a bit, about 1 minute. Add the rinsed rice; stir until each grain is coated in the butter. Add the chicken stock and salt, giving everything a stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce to a simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Do not peek! After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes with the lid still on until ready to serve. Just before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  3. Prepare the sauce: In the bowl with the 2 tablespoons reserved marinade, add mayonnaise and lemon juice. Whisk well (use the same whisk, it's fine!) and cover with plastic wrap or transfer to a small glass jar. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Before serving, give it a stir and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water to thin it out to a nice drizzly consistency.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken: Place an oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler's heating element (in my oven, that's the second from the top). Turn on broiler 5 to 10 minutes before cooking. Line a sheet pan with foil. Oil or Pam-spray a cooling rack/pan grate and place atop the sheet pan. Using tongs, remove chicken thighs from the ziptop bag, letting any excess marinade drip off. Place on cooling rack/pan grate, placing them all closer to the center of the sheet pan to ensure they'll get even coverage (take a look at your broiler to see the shape of the heating element if you're not sure). Cook the chicken on the first side for 7 minutes. Remove the sheet pan, flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the sheet pan once more, flip the chicken back and cook for a final 2 minutes, until cooked through and charred in spots. Remove chicken and place on a cutting board; cover with a piece of foil and rest for 10 minutes. After resting, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  5. To serve: On a plate, add rice, lettuce, chicken, and tomatoes. Drizzle plenty of sauce over the chicken, and lettuce and tomatoes. Serve any extra sauce alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • Kristin Jacobsen
    Kristin Jacobsen
  • Carolyn Saint
    Carolyn Saint
  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
  • Marsha Shapiro Roux
    Marsha Shapiro Roux
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.

41 Reviews

AMA1977 June 4, 2023
Made this for dinner tonight and even my picky 10 year-old LOVED it. The marinade is delicious. I grilled the chicken instead of broiling, and did half butterflied boneless skinless breasts and half thighs. My husband said “the sauce is integral to how good this is.” 😂 10/10, it was a HUGE hit.
meghan June 4, 2023
this sounds silly, but i haven’t even tried this yet but I know it’s going to be good envisioning it… all of our favorite flavors, and seems like low effort for high payout. not sure how we missed this recipe when it came about but it went IMMEDIATELY on the plan for this next week!
Jo April 23, 2023
Really, really good.
The rice is a keeper, so delicious! The chicken and the sauce excellent.
I will add more gouchang paste next time for more spice.
The salad was an excellent counterpoint.
Totally two thumbs up!
EmilyC June 7, 2022
Made this tonight and it's SO DELICIOUS! I've made lots of yogurt marinades for chicken in my day, and this one is really special. After I broiled the chicken, I removed the wire rack from the sheet pan and tossed thinly sliced broccoli and snap peas (which were hanging out in my crisper) in the chicken fat + marinade drippings, and broiled them for about 5 minutes until tender and charred. A wonderful, super flavorful meal with the rice and sauce! Thanks, Hana! I'm definitely putting this meal in my rotation, and I'm excited to try the marinated chicken on the grill, as well!
PJ June 3, 2022
this recipe is fantastic. I used only 1 tbsp of the gochujang because I didn't know how hot it was. may use more the next time. Easy and the marinade allowed me to start the chicken the day before. I liked that. Will definitely do this again.
kaytch April 27, 2022
The stellar reviews are not overstating things. This is so, so good. I used jasmine rice instead of basmati which turned out great. The chicken also needed a few minutes more under the broiler but it was delicious. I think next time we might try putting the chicken on the grill.
k March 19, 2022
Stellar meal. The chicken was beyond tender. The marinade was so well balanced, and the spicy factor perfect for our guests after adding I Tablespoon extra gochujang. I would have cooked more rice as there was enough chicken left over (from about 2 lbs) for another delightful (leftover) dinner for two! I will definitely be making this again. I combined the romaine with same amount arugula and before plating I very lightly seasoned with lemon juice and lite olive oil and salted well. Perfect!
dshields66 March 15, 2022
I followed the recipe exactly, except for a bit less of the gochujang because I don't like spicy, and it was fantastic! Absolutely love this recipe and I will be making it again
Kate M. March 1, 2022
I agree with all previous reviews that state this recipe is fantastic! My husband and I were absolutely thrilled with the taste, grilling time was spot on, and the garlic butter rice a delicious side dish. The marinade and the sauce can be used to flavor so many other proteins as well as chicken. I will be following Chef Hana Asbrink much more closely after this winner.
jenny.dixon05 February 26, 2022
Delicious. The sauce takes it over the top. Restaurant worthy. My teenage boys devoured it!
Kristin J. February 24, 2022
5 stars for deliciousness. Some notes: We use an avocado oil mayonnaise and the sauce ended up having a pretty strong mayonnaisey aftertaste, so we added some more gochujang. Our brown basmati rice definitely did not cook enough with this method, so once everything was ready we did have to cook it for about 10 minutes longer with additional liquid.
petergroninger February 25, 2022
My experience was that the rice, like everything else, was perfect. I had never before used the cooking technique of cooking the rice for a short time (only 10 minutes) and then removing it from the heat for the remaining 15 minutes or so, but it certainly worked for me. I suspect your issues stemmed from your use of brown rice, rather than white rice. This is not a shame on you, just an observation.
Carolyn S. February 23, 2022
I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. I cooked them in the marinade in a shallow baking dish at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. When they reached about 150 degrees interior temp I turned on the broiler for 5 minutes. This dish was delicious! My rice was crispy on the bottom which I loved but my husband called “burnt.” I had arugula instead of romaine so I put that on the plate topped with the crispy rice, the tender chicken, and some juicy tomatoes. Drizzled the special sauce over all…really delicious!!
petergroninger February 24, 2022
My own personal experience is that I have trouble not over cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts, which I why I use chicken thighs (after trimming excess fat). Glad you liked the recipe and more importantly the results.
petergroninger February 21, 2022
I've made this recipe once, and in spite of the fairly lengthy list of ingredients, and the somewhat lengthy instructions, it is well worth the effort. Most of the work can be done the day before, and in a nutshell IT IS OUTFREAKINGSTANDING !!!! Make the time, it is well worth the effort.
Marsha S. February 21, 2022
You got my attention with that word...OUTFREAKINGSTANDING!!!!!! lol!!!
petergroninger February 21, 2022
I hope you do; in case you were wondering:
a) I didn't find the end product to be particularly spicy. At least it didn't make the bald spot on the top of my head sweat.
b) Rather than endless meandering through multiple grocery stores, I took the easy way and got the gochujang through Amazon; easy peasy.
c) a video of this recipe is on the Food 52 channel on You Tube; well worth watching to cut down on the intimidation factor.
Marsha S. February 21, 2022
I checked out the video earlier this evening!!!! I'm not intimidated!!!!!
petergroninger February 22, 2022
Then to paraphrase Sgt. Preston, "My job is done."

Hope you like it when/if you try it.
Marsha S. February 22, 2022
I have to say, your job is indeed done!!!!!! Thanks for your tips!!!!!
Eddie February 16, 2022
I definitely enjoyed this. I liked that the prep work can be split up over two days (or not). The rice was very delicious, but the star was the sauce made with the reserved marinade. Had to stop myself from smothering everything with it. I do not like very spicy food and this only had a little heat. I may even bump up the amount of gochujang next time.
SerCooks February 13, 2022
Made this last night and the BF has requested that this get added to the regular rotation. The chicken was so tender and juicy with such a flavorful sauce. As an Asian, I was really doubtful about the rice cooking method, but it was absolutely perfect. We did add some Vietnamese fried garlic bits on top of the rice as we love garlic. Thank you for posting such an easy and delicious recipe!
robin L. February 8, 2022
I used chicken thighs per the recipe. But would boneless skinless breast work too, since it will get tender as it marinades? (I'm just not sure how to broil the breasts...maybe cut them to half their thickness before marinating them?)
LarryJ March 10, 2022
I would say pounding them flat would work best if you're going to use breasts. Plus flattening them gives it more surface area to soak up that marinade.
TheRambis January 6, 2023
I just used chicken breasts the other night and cut them up so they were roughly equivalent to thighs in size and the method and timing worked just fine for me.
robin L. February 8, 2022
This was so delicious. And the bonus is the leftover rice that I'm now eating with some leftover Dal. I don't think I'll make rice any other way now!
jencordes February 5, 2022
Very good! I’d make this again for sure but I’d up the spice level and add a little more salt.
Celine A. February 3, 2022
Can I use miso instead of gochujang? I don't have access to gochujang where I live, and no one in my family likes spicy food
Goo January 28, 2022
Delicious!!! Followed the recipe except for the rice. I used sticky sushi rice and sautéed it with the butter, garlic and onion and then cooked in rice steamer. The rice came out fluffy not sticky which was perfect. Will be making this again and again!