June 16, 2012

Recipes From The Road- Thai Spicy Basil Chicken

This is one of our favorite Thai recipes that we make anytime we get a nice fresh bunch of basil. We'd picked up some basil at the San Rafael farmer's market, a huge bunch of it for 75 cents, so it was time to make the meal! Its not a recipe we came up with, so I will share with you the recipe that is listed on thaifood.about.com 


3/4 to 1 lb. chicken breast or thigh, sliced into bite-size pieces or strips

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1-2 fresh red chilies, chopped fine, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
3 Tbsp. white wine OR white cooking wine
2 small bell peppers: red and yellow, sliced
1 small green pepper OR 1/2 zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
3 green onions, sliced OR 1/2 purple onion
1/2 compressed cup Thai basil, OR substitute sweet basil
2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil


3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
3 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce (you can find this at Asian food stores, or substitute more soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Combine the 'Stir-Fry Sauce' ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of this sauce over prepared chicken and stir in. Set aside to marinate a few minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. Set remaining stir-fry sauce aside.

Our ingredients. The chicken is marinating in some of the stir-fry sauce 
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the garlic and chili. 

Garlic and Chili Flakes
Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance, then add the chicken plus a splash of white wine. Stir-fry until chicken turns opaque (3 minutes). Add a little more white wine as needed to keep pan moist.Add the bell peppers and zucchini, plus 3/4 of the stir-fry sauce you made earlier. Stir-fry until vegetables have softened but still retain some of their crispness (about 2 minutes).

Stir fry the chicken, then add peppers (we skipped the zucchini this time) 
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sliced green onions, plus remaining stir-fry sauce. Stir together (note that this is meant to be a saucy dish - this is where the flavor is).

We went with purple onion, since we didn't have any green onion. 
Remove from heat and fold in the fresh basil (basil will wilt down into the hot sauce). Taste-test the dish and adjust the flavors to your liking. 

Stir in the basil, and you're done!
Taste-test Tip from Thaifood.about.com: note that this classic Thai dish is meant to be salty-spicy, with the zesty flavor of the basil coming through. It is definitely supposed to veer on the salty side, which is then balanced out when you eat it with plain steam rice. If you still find it too salty for your taste, add more lime juice. If not salty or flavorful enough, add more golden mountain sauce and/or fish sauce.
Any time we make a Thai meal, actually anytime we make anything with rice, we always use Thai Jasmine rice. Its the most flavorful rice we've found yet. You can find some pretty much anywhere now, even Wal-Mart sells it.
Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Happy cooking,
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