Years ago, when we lived in Upstate New York, we frequented a Thai restaurant that served a delicious Thai basil chicken dish. My husband ordered it regularly. After moving away and not finding it at local Thai restaurants I tried to replicate it. The original was made with boneless chicken breasts, but we like chicken thighs so that is what we are using for this recipe. I love the fresh, light licorice flavor Thai basil imparts to the chicken. Enjoy.
Thai Basil Chicken
2 Thai chilis, stemmed and sliced (or more to taste)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced or cubed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 bunch fresh Thai basil, rinsed and leaves removed from stem
1 lime, quartered
In a wok or large frying pan heat oil on medium high heat. While oil is heating, place the chilies and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Pound it to make a rough paste and release the oils. Add the chili-garlic paste to the hot oil and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add red onion and cook 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and stir to mix. You may want to raise the heat slightly. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, water, and sugar. Stir to mix. Let chicken cook 5-7 minutes or until it is thoroughly cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from heat. Add basil leaves and stir. Serve with Jasmine rice and a wedge of lime to squeeze over individual portions if desired. Serves 4.