Thai Basil Chicken
I’m on a Thai food and Asian cuisine kick. It’s truly some of my favorite flavor combinations. When it’s about to freeze outside (we had our first frost last night!), I love to use tender garden herbs en masse in tasty meals like tomato basil soup which uses a LOT of basil or in stir fry like this Thai basil chicken. Fragrant, herbaceous basil of the Thai variety is used in this dish as it has a slightly more spicy bite to it. You can use whatever basil you have on hand as it’s incredible with any kind you use. This recipe is quite fast to make so it’s great for nights when you have a little less time to cook.
Bold umami flavor from a traditional sauce blends perfectly with tender chicken morsels and fills your kitchen with a basil-perfumed aroma. This dish can easily be made spicier or less spicy by altering the type of chilies you use or by omitting them altogether. I like mine to have some heat so I used a combo of spicy peppers like red fresno, jalepeno, and serrano. If it were just me eating it, a ghost pepper might end up in the mix but alas, it needs to be kid and Midwestern hubby friendly. Stir fry recipes are so wonderful for using garden fresh veggies and you don’t have to use the same veg in each one. This basic basil infused sauce could easily be tossed with broccoli and snow peas for a slightly different version. Spooned over rice or rice noodles, you get a gorgeous presentation that the kids will happily devour too.
- 1 pound chicken, sliced or cut into bite size pieces
- 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small red onion, cut into strips
- 4-5 tablespoons coconut oil for the pan
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 4 hot chilies of any kind, diced (or you can use red chili flakes) to taste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or honey)
- 30-40 whole basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (optional for a thicker sauce) mixed into 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups freshly steamed rice
- Heat coconut oil in a wok or large saute pan and heat until hot.
- Add garlic and chilies. Stir fry about a minute until fragrant.
- Add chicken and stir fry until chicken is nearly cooked.
- Add fish sauce, tamari, oyster sauce and coconut sugar. Stir until combined.
- Add bell pepper, onion and about ¾ of the basil leaves and stir fry until peppers and onion begin to soften.
- If you desire a thicker sauce, dissolve the arrowroot with water and mix into the pan until the sauce has thickened.
- When ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish and top with remaining basil. Serve over rice.