Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thai Chicken with Fresh Basil

My sister in law reached out to me today because she is in need of chicken recipes as my Brother in Law has gout and he can only eat chicken and turkey. I never posted this recipe here because I was not happy with the quality of the photos...but a chicken emergency is a chicken emergency. So Priscilla...this is for you!

I first heard about this recipe while driving and listening to the Everyday Food radio show on Martha Stewart Living and the host was raving about this recipe and how quick, easy and delicious it was. She had dinner on the table in under 30 minutes and she certainly did not lie. I went home and searched around the internet and found the recipe and made it myself that very night. I have since purchased this great cookbook ...
Quick and Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott. It has come in very handy on busy nights. The tastes and flavors are very authentic and the recipes use mostly items you can get in your local supermarket or already have in your pantry.

Thai Chicken with Fresh Basil 

adapted from :Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott

3 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 tablespoon coarsely-chopped garlic
1/2 cup coarsely-chopped onion
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in bite-size pieces or 1 pound  coarsely ground chicken
2 tablespoons fish sauce ( I use Vietnamese- Three Crabs Brand)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely-chopped fresh chile peppers (Thai chiles, serranos, or jalapenos)
1 packed cup Thai basil or other basil leaves
2 cups cooked rice, optional

Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl it to coat the surface. Add the garlic and onion; stir briefly until they begin to release their aroma, about 45 to 60 seconds. Add the chicken pieces, tossing well with a wooden spatula or spoon, to help the meat brown evenly. If using ground chicken you want to break up to meat to achieve a crumbly texture.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, water, and sugar; cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing now and then, just until the chicken is cooked and the seasonings form a thin, smooth , sauce. Add the chile peppers and basil; toss and stir fry just until the basil begins to wilt.

Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot or warm with cooked rice ( we love this with Jasmine rice), if you desire. Garnish with some leftover basil leaves.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

My notes: I added some julienned yellow, red ,and orange peppers for some color and crunch at the time I added the jalapenos. I have also added some diced green beans or asparagus to the dish as well.
I did not have Thai basil so I used regular Italian basil and it worked out just fine. I also add about a tablespoon or so more of water if it looks a tiny bit dry toward the end. 

I know this says it feeds 4 to 6 ...but in my house with hungry teenagers it feeds two to three. You can easily double this recipe. BUT....I would not crowd the pan with the chicken, so brown it in batches so the chicken browns nicely and does not stew in the marinade. There is not much sauce left over. I garnish it with cilantro and a slice of fresh lime. You could also add some sliced cucumber and tomato to the plate and you have dinner in a flash. 

Check your chiles for heat before you use them. I made this last night and used two serrano chiles.They were pretty spicy...we enjoyed the dish but in retrospect one chile would have sufficed.
Now why I did not take a picture of this when I made it last night...I will never know. There were from last June and not very good....please excuse the poor pics...but the recipe is too good to not tell you about.


  1. I've made this because of your IS wonderful!

  2. Looks fabulous Linda, dear! Those textures and colors are gorgeous... I do believe I can almost smell the yummy aroma. Very nice ~ I must try this one. xo~m.
    P.S. Loved the Vinegar Glossed Chicken that you shared, pictures are in the que for an upcoming post ~ it's soo delicious. It is he best version of Vinegar-Chicken I've ever tasted. Thanks for sharing. ((hugs))

  3. Thank you my friends.... you!
    That vinegar glossed chicken is really a winner isn't it!
    Love it!

    You are too kind! The pics are not all that but this recipe is really good...and quick...that is the key word!

  4. I agree with Mari.. that vinegar chicken was delish so I am on a roll with your recipes. I used to make a version of Thai chicken in the summer when I grew Thai basil but no more garden;( Oh well, no excuse not to make it. Thanks for the great recipe, Linda!

  5. This sounds so good..I like your additions:) You are creative and better recipes..Love that!

  6. Thank you my dear friends...

    This is a really good quick meal. The kids loved it and there are just those nights when you need to get dinner on the table in the time it takes to cook a pot of rice...more economical than take out and actually even faster...

    I use Pearl River dark soy sauce for this along with the Three Crabs brand of Fish sauce. Those are from the Asian market...but it will work as well with brands available in the normal supermarket.

    Deana... that Thai grilled chicken here on my blog is the bomb when summer comes and you are in the country, give it a whirl!

  7. Mmmm. Thai chicken is a favorite on our house too. I use Steamy Kitchen's recipe, adding extra veggies to fill up the teenagers. I'll have to try that vinegar chicken that everyone is raving about!

  8. I love Thai food and am always on the lookout for good recipes. I'll be trying this one this weekend. Thanks, Linda. I'm now going to check out that cookbook.

  9. Cathy the cookbook is really nice and if you buy it used it is very inexpensive. I also bought her Quick and easy Chinese and Quick and easy Vietnamese at the same time. All almost new and very inexpensive on Amazon...

  10. Thank you, thank you! This recipe looks incredible and healthy!

  11. You are very welcome...
    thanks for stopping by!

  12. Oh! This Thai chicken looks fabulous, and I love it with yummie!

  13. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!
    Thanks for stopping by to visit!

  14. Cool, great post Linda. As usual, your posts are really awesome and you share good recipes and ingredients. Keep up doing the tremendous work, looking forward to seeing more good posts soon. Also do more kitchen related products like steel cookware, stainless cookware, and related items.
    Waiting to see more good blog posts.

    Kind Regards,