Friday, September 10, 2010

thai basil chicken

Okay, so this is my new favorite recipe.
I tried this one night when my husband was away, training in the field.
I ate the whole thing.  (....well, at least one serving was for breakfast the next day.....and if you know how much I hate leftovers, you'd know that was a big deal.  Kinda like the tomato soup.  Okay, enough writing inside parentheses.  Sorry.)

So, this is a spicy and sweet, curry-like dish.
I like spicy (I mean, spicy) so if you don't care for that much spice, scale back accordingly.
But there is some science about using incredible amounts of spice balanced with just a touch of sweetness (from the basil, in our case) that makes this a really really happy food.

Thai Basil Chicken 
Serves 4.  Or just me. 
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 Thai red chilies, or 2-3 big fresh jalapenos
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon oyster sauce 
1 teaspoon white vinegar, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for serving
1 -1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Process 1 cup basil leaves, garlic and chilies in food processor until finely chopped, six to ten, 1-second pulses, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Transfer 1 tablespoon basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and sugar; set aside. 

Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet.  Do not wash food processor bowl.  Pulse chicken and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into approximate 1/4-inch pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses.  Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.  Stir onions and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat (mixture should start to sizzle after about 1 1/2 minutes; if it doesn't, adjust heat accordingly), stirring constantly, until garlic and onions are golden brown, 5-8 minutes.  Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken with potato masher or rubber spatula, until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. 

Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute.  Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds. 

Serve immediately, on white rice and green peas, passing extra fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes and vinegar separately.  Enjoy!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...