Pineapple and Kimchi-Glazed Chicken Legs Recipe

Here's a way to use all that extra kimchi juice you've been saving.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


for the glaze:
2 cups|500 ml fresh pineapple juice
2 cups|500 ml kimchi liquid
1 cup|250 ml black vinegar
½ cup|140 grams ketchup

for the rub:
3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
6 tablespoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons granulated onion
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons smoked paprika


for the chicken:
2 chicken leg quarters
kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

for the vegetables:
4 tablespoons red miso paste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ears corn, shucked and halved lengthwise
3 baby boy choy, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the salad:
1 ounce|50 grams mizuna
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Make the glaze: Bring the pineapple juice, kimchi liquid, and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and reduce to 1 cup, about 40 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and set the glaze aside. Makes 1 ½ cups|355 ml.
  2. Make the rub: Place the mustard and coriander seeds and the Szechuan and black peppercorns in a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast the spices until fragrant, 3 ½ minutes. Cool completely, then transfer to a spice grinder. Grind to a powder, then transfer to a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Makes 1 ¾ cups.
  3. Cook the chicken: Heat the oven to 450°F. Working with one leg at a time, place the chicken skin-side down on your cutting board. Working with a small knife, butterfly some of the chicken meat off of the bone on the leg and the thigh, keeping it still connected to the bone. You’re basically trying to open up the leg a little bit to make it flatter, allowing it to cook faster and more evenly. Repeat with the remaining legs, then season the flesh side with the rub. Flip over and season the skin side with salt only.
  4. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Place the chicken, skin-side down, in the skillet. Cook until the skin is golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Top with a lid or another cast-iron pan that will weigh down the chicken. Place in the oven directly on the bottom of the oven, not on the rack. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the chicken on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes, then brush with the glaze and transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Cook the vegetables: In a medium bowl, mix the miso and butter until combined and set aside. Drizzle the vegetables with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet, cut-side up, and sprinkle with some of the rub. Place in the oven and bake until the bok choy is just golden and slightly soft and the corn is cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the miso butter. Transfer to the serving platter with the chicken.
  6. Meanwhile, toss the mizuna with the lime juice and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper and add to the platter. Serve immediately.

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