Thai Basil Chicken
Christy, Sinkology’s food-loving recipe blogger, is here to share some recipes she has created for the Sinkology blog that reflect our view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.
Thai basil chicken is one of our favorite quick meals using ground chicken. It is a frequent recipe in our dinner rotation as it is very flavorful and simple. And since it practically takes less than 20 minutes from preparation to the table, that’s always a winner in my book.
Thai basil is traditionally used in this Thai basil chicken dish, which is also known as Pad Krapow Gai. The fragrant Thai basil has purple stems and a stronger basil flavor with a peppery profile and a hint of licorice. Thai basil is definitely the star of this savory dish so I highly recommend you using the real deal if you can. But feel free to use the sweet basil if you can’t find the Thai basil.
The aromatics: garlic, Thai dried chilies, and shallots are sautéed in oil to make the dish more vibrant, garlicky and spicy. Fresh Thai bird’s eye chilies are more commonly used in this dish but they are harder to find than the dried ones for me. I admit I cheat most of the time and use red pepper flakes because I always have it on hand. You can add more or less depending on how spicy you want it. The small amount of sauce elevates the dish by giving it an umami flavor. I like to add red bell pepper as they impart a lovely flavor, texture, and color as well as giving it more body. Plus, I need to sneak in some kind of vegetable so I don’t feel too guilty. I don’t claim to profess this is a true and authentic Thai basil chicken but it’s still pretty darn tasty.
Let’s get started on this 10-minute meal! This is the time to cook the rice first before you start to stir-fry. I always use jasmine rice and since it takes 12 minutes, it’s done at the same time.
First, have all your mise en place ready before you begin to stir-fry. Slice the shallots, garlic, and red pepper into thin slices. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Pick the leaves whole off of the Thai basil bunch. Put everything by the wok for quick access, as it will go along quick.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the aromatics: garlic, shallots and Thai red chilies. Stir-fry for a minute or two and keep pushing around with a stir-fry spatula. Watch closely as you only want the edges to begin to brown.
Add the red bell peppers and stir-fry for a minute or two more.
Add the ground chicken, breaking up into small pieces as you keep cooking. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink and all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the sauce and stir to coat everything. This isn't supposed to be a saucy dish. I basically eyeball the amount when I make the sauce. Throw in the Thai basil leaves and continue to stir-fry until the basil have just wilted, 30 seconds.
Remove the dried Thai chilies before serving. Serve over jasmine rice and dig in!
Thai Basil Chicken
2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
3 dried whole Thai red chilies or 1/4 tsp. crushed red peppers, optional
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 or 2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1-pound ground chicken, preferably 8% fat
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce, dark soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 large bunch Thai basil or holy basil, leaves picked whole
Cooked rice to serve with
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Set aside. Have all your mise en place ready, as it will stir-fry quickly in less 10 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add the garlic, shallots, and chilies. Quickly stir-fry for 1 minute until they start to brown on the edges but don’t burn.
3. Add the red bell peppers and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the ground chicken, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until no longer pink and all the liquid has been evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the sauce and stir-fry for a minute making sure it coats everything.
6. Throw in basil and stir-fry for few seconds until it wilts. Remove the dried chilies before serving.
7. Serve over rice.
Serves 4 small or 2 large.
Adapted from Allrecipes