Although summer produce season was nearing its end, we easily scored some fresh corn and zucchini to make this flavorful Spiced Chicken with Corn, Mushrooms and Zucchini. It’s a one pan meal that’s ready in a total of 45 minutes. Cooked in a skillet, the spiced chicken takes on a brick-red hue with a moderately spicy kick. (You can adjust the amount of heat by adding or eliminating the amount of cayenne.)
Here gochugaru—Korean red chile flakes—imbues this one-skillet chicken and vegetable supper with its deep, savory flavor, gentle heat and a hint of smokiness. But don’t fret if you can’t find gochugaru, just substitute ancho chile powder, regular chili powder or chipotle chile powder (or choice) for a delicious but different taste profile. Add more cayenne or eliminate it to adjust the level of heat, which is moderate as written. (Gochugaru can be found at Asian markets, well stocked supermarkets or online.)
I got carried away and pounded the chicken breasts down to a 1/4″ instead of the indicated 1/2″. Not a problem as long as the meat is not overcooked and dried out. Adjust the cooking time so that the poultry registers 160°, then move to a plate and cover with foil.
The amount of chicken we made was over 1 1/2 pounds, which when hammered down made 4 large cutlets, and therefore had to be cooked in 2 batches. Once the veggies are done, pour the accumulated chicken juices into the pan and stir to distribute.
Yes, you can make this meal with frozen corn, but you will suffer from a loss of flavor. This summer was THE BEST corn season we’ve experienced in a long time. And this last batch in particular was astoundingly sweet and juicy!
Spiced Chicken with Corn, Mushrooms and Zucchini
- 1 1/2 tsp. gochugaru (Korean chile flakes; may substitute ancho chile powder, regular chili powder or chipotle chile powder)
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2-inch thick
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil or another neutral oil, divided
- 8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms or a mix of mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster and/or cremini, sliced
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. water, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, plus dark greens for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. minced or finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 medium zucchini (8 ounces), trimmed, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 3-4 ears of corn, kernels sliced from cob
- In a small bowl, combine the gochugaru, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the granulated garlic and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto both sides of the chicken, rubbing it in a little with your fingers.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, followed by the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the water if the pan seems dry, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the scallions and ginger and cook until they soften, about 1 minute.
- Add the zucchini, corn and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add more water as needed, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
- Pour any accumulated juices from the chicken into the pan with the vegetables, and then slice the chicken into strips.
- Serve the vegetables with the sliced chicken on top or on the side.
Loosely adapted from a recipe by Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post