Gochujang-Yogurt Chicken With Garlic Butter Rice

December 16, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Ericka Martins. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
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

Watch This Recipe
Gochujang-Yogurt Chicken With Garlic Butter Rice
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

  • Liz Karan
    Liz Karan
  • chksee
  • angie444
  • carswell
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.

12 Reviews

chksee January 16, 2022
Delicious and simple to make!
Liz K. January 12, 2022
This is a really good weeknight recipe. It comes together quickly and the chicken turned out so good. Definitely not very spicy. I might add chili flakes next time for more spice.
angie444 January 10, 2022
This was so delicious and so simple to make - it will definitely be added to the rotation
carswell January 8, 2022
This was very tasty - unfortunately I think my container of gochugang is past its best before date as it wasn’t as distinctively spicy as I had imagined it would be. Incorporating the simple salad on the side is genius.

Regardless, I will definitely make it again. And get a fresh container of gochugang.
mmraine January 6, 2022
Sounds amazing! Assuming broil on high?
oliver.c January 5, 2022
So insanely delicious
Jenny G. January 2, 2022
OBSESSED!! I grew up eating Korean food, but I love this twist on the marinade and using chicken thighs. I made this last night for dinner, and everyone licked their bowls clean- our two kids included! We've saved this recipe to keep in our regular rotation. I've shared this recipe with all of my friends and family too!
Dani January 1, 2022
Wow, this was sooooo good! From the marinade, to the dressing, to the crispy simple salad. I love everything about this dish. I don’t know why I’ve always been paranoid about broiling dark meat, thinking that it wouldn’t be cooked through. The cooking time is bang on and from now on, I new way for me to cook meat. So quick and easy to make too. I had leftover rice, so I just reheated. But I did sauté the onion and garlic to add to it. The simple romain salad was so perfect for this dish. I love the hint of heat in the dressing. I think in the summer time, I would just leave the rice out and do it as a salad. Great for leftover lunches too. Thank you for a recipe that I will make over and over. 😁
J S. December 31, 2021
loved the broiler technique! great way to get charred flavor without a grill in my apartment. i doubled the gochujang as she mentioned in the video you are free to do if you want it spicier -- next time i'll triple it I think ;)

i don't usually love mayo based sauces but this one brought the whole dish together nicely and was a great way to get more mileage out of the flavorful marinade
cattyk December 27, 2021
Super delish! Made the chicken as is but skipped adding the Mayo sauce since the chicken was so good on its own! Also served with plain rice.
say_ana_fewd December 27, 2021
I freaking loved this dish so much!!! The chicken is truly the star. I might just make it with plain basmati next time so that all I taste is the DELICIOUS CHICKEN.
Darian December 22, 2021
Although my salad was disappointingly past due when I made this dish, the chicken and rice were able to stand alone quite nicely. The marinade and sauce is delicious and the chicken was super tender. Next time I'll check my salad status before getting started!