Monday, March 28, 2011

Thai Basil Chicken

This was one of those recipes that I wish I had doubled, or even tripled. I couldn't stop eating it. On second thought, perhaps it was good that I didn't double or triple it... This is another dish from Joelen, who has yet to steer me wrong.

Indian food is my first love but I also really love Thai food. I've never had Basil Chicken at a Thai restaurant so I can't speak for how similar this is to something you'd find there. What I can say is that it's delicious. The only thing that would make it better? A big glass of Thai Iced Tea served alongside it.

This is actually a very quick and easy meal to put together, especially if you already have key ethnic food ingredients on hand (like fish sauce and chili garlic sauce). I subbed in ground turkey in place of the chicken and I doubt it made a huge flavor difference. Ground chicken is limited and pricey at my store so I opted for the cheaper turkey. Two cups of basil sounds like a lot but it's honestly not overpowering at all - just perfect. If you grow basil, this would be a great dish to make using it! If you like heat - which this dish does not have - add some more of the chili garlic sauce, or throw in a pepper.

I served this over jasmine rice.

Thai Basil Chicken
2 cups basil leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped

Place garlic, 1 cup fresh basil leaves and the chili garlic sauce in a food processor (I used my mini chopper). Pulse until finely chopped, scraping bowl one time. Transfer 1 tablespoon of this mixture to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Stir and set aside.

Place the remaining garlic/basil mixture into a cold 12" skillet and set aside.

Place the ground chicken in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.

In the cold skillet with the garlic/basil mixture, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and onions to the pan. Saute over medium low heat and allow herbs and onion to soften.

Once onion is softened, add the chilled ground chicken, and stirring constantly, breaking the chicken up as it cooks. Continue stirring until chicken is no longer pink.

Add garlic/basil sauce mixture that you made previously. Cook about 1 min.

Meanwhile, chiffonade the remaining cup of basil leaves and add to the pan to cook 1 additional minute or so, until the basil wilts. Serve over rice.

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