Thai is one of those cuisines that I love to have, if I'm not the one cooking it. The subtle flavors have a way of knocking my socks off with their clean and crisp tastes. Every individual component is often recognized and acknowledged in a dish, in a was that works out a perfect balance. Slowly, I am becoming more familiar with ingredients in traditional Thai cooking and challenging myself to try some new dishes in my own kitchen.
This simple chicken with basil was perfect for two on a weeknight> Served with a small portion of brown rice, we mixed everything together on our platters and dug in. There were only a few leftovers to wrap up and nothing went to waste within the next few days. Consider this, and the other Thai inspired dishes I have posted on here as baby steps towards a personal culinary awakening.
Thai Chicken with Basil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly backed
- 2 green or red Thai chilies, stemmed
- 2 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 ½ teas fish sauce, plus extra for serving
- 1 ½ teas oyster sauce
- 1 ½ teas sugar, plus extra for serving
- ½ teas white vinegar, plus extra for serving
- 1 (8oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 shallow, sliced thin
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- Red pepper flakes, for serving
Pulse ½ cup basil, chiles, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses, scraping down work bowl as needed. Transfer 1 ½ teas basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 ½ teas fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and vinegar; set aside. Transfer remaining basil mixture to 10-inch nonstick skillet.
Without washing food processor bowl, pulse chicken and remaining 1 teas fish sauce in food processor until meat is coarsely chopped, 6 to 8 pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Stir shallow and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly; until garlic and shallot are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. (Mixture should start to sizzle after about 1 ½ minutes; if it doesn't adjust heat accordingly.)
Stir in chicken and cook over medium heat, breaking up chicken with wooden spoon, until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining ½ cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil has wilted, 30 to 60 seconds. Serve immediately, passing extra fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and red pepper flakes separately.