Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chiles, Thai Style

This is very authentic tasting to me (my only Thai food experience is limited to Thai restaurants); I suspect it's the Thai basil (cinnamon basil--has a faint licorice or anise aroma). If you have a garden, this is an easy stir-fry to make and very inexpensive. If you don't garden this year, try some cinnamon basil and some jalapenos next year (both very easy to grow) and you can whip this up any time! As with most stir-fries, have all ingredients ready (including some cooked rice) before you begin because it moves fast. If serving young children, keep the pieces of jalapeno fairly big; then simply pick them out of their servings--there will be some residual heat, but not like what they might experience if they bit into a piece of hot pepper.

From How to Cook Everything, 10th ann. edition

  • 1/4 c. peanut oil (or neutral oil)
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • 1 T. grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 or 3 minced fresh or dried chiles (serrano or jalapeno) or cayenne to taste
  • 2 medium to large onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. chopped scallion, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks or thin slices and blotted dry
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai/cinnamon)
  • 1 t. sugar (optional)
  • 2 T. fish sauce (nam pla)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock, white wine, or water
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around, and immediately add half the garlic, half the ginger, and the chiles. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes ('til softened). Remove onion to a separate bowl.
  2. Turn heat down to medium. Add remaining oil, swirl, then remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken. Raise heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Return the onion mixture to the pan, add the scallions and basil, and toss once or twice. Add sugar if using, then fish sauce (can use soy sauce, but it won't be as authentic tasting); toss again. Add liquid of choice and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you've scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Garnish with scallion and serve.
Serves 4, with rice
Side dish suggestion: Asian Cucumber Salad or crudite

No comments: