Well hello there!
Although my go-to flavor palette is always Mediterranean, this recipe gets me out of my comfort zone to foray into Asian ingredients and culture. What’s not to like about Thai Basil Chicken? The flavors are bright, acidic and fresh. The aroma of the coconut sauce draws you in. The basil garnish bursts in your mouth, adding just the right complexity to keep things interesting. Not enough to entice yet? Well, how about this. It’s a one pot dish that comes together lickity split, perfect for week night dinners.
Ninety percent of my pantry is filled with olives, tomatoes, pasta and such. I reserve one shelf designated for exotic ingredients like coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Coconut milk, a Thai staple, is made by simmering coconut meat in water and straining it. I’ve been delighted to see canned coconut milk is now readily available at the local grocery store in the Asian section. Sometimes I’ll open a can and the coconut meat has separated from the milk and formed a big lump. No worries, just dump it all in a bowl and whisk it back together until it is silky and smooth. Sriracha sauce, originating in Thailand, is a hot sauce made from chili peppers, vinegar and garlic. It’s also easy to find these days in the Asian aisle at the market. (Pssst…having trouble finding it? Look for the rooster.)
This dish is perfect served stand alone, but also is delightful when served over hot rice.
1 LB ground chicken or 1 LB boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3 inch strips
1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 TBSP minced fresh garlic
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups frozen green beans, cooked al dente
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP soy sauce
1-3 TBSP Sriracha Sauce (depending on how spicy hot you desire)
3 TBSP corn starch
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
5-6 fresh large Basil leaves, thinly sliced
Cook frozen green beans until just done, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Saute chicken in Olive Oil until no longer pink, remove from pan and set aside. Salt to taste.
In same pan, saute onion, garlic, jalapeño and red peppers for 3-4 minutes. Salt to taste.
Add chicken and green beans back to pan.
For slurry mixture combine coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, soy sauce and sriracha sauce together. Measure corn starch into a different bowl. Gradually whisk coconut milk mixture into cornstarch, making sure there are no lumps.
Over medium heat, pour coconut slurry mixture over chicken mixture. Continue stirring until sauce forms and it is bubbling and thick.
Garnish with basil and peanuts.
Serve immediately. (Also very good served over hot white rice)