Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thai Chicken with Basil

I love Thai food and have never made it so when I saw this recipe in a recent Cook's Illustrated magazine, I thought I'd give it a try! I have never used fish sauce or oyster sauce and when I smelled it, I wasn't a fan. While I was making this dish I kept thinking "this is going to taste so gross, I'm going to have to make PBJ's for backup." Even Joe came home and said the house didn't smell good. So the moment of truth came and we took a bite of the completed meal at the same time.....and we loved it! I don't know how this can happen but it tastes NOTHING like it smells. The basil absolutely makes this dish and the texture of the chicken was wonderful. Even Colton gobbled it all up. If you are a fan of Thai food, I challenge you to make this dish!!

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 green or red Thai chiles, stemmed (or you can use 2 serranos or 1 medium jalapeno)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Process 1 cup basil leaves, garlic, and chiles in food processor until finely chopped (6-10 pulses). Transfer 1 tablespoon of basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and sugar; set aside. Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch heavy bottomed nonstick skillet. Do not wash food processor bowl!

Pulse chicken and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into approximate 1/4-inch pieces (6-8 pulses). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Stir shallots and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until garlic and shallots are golden brown.

Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring until traces of pink remain. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted. Serve immediately.

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