Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thai-Style Chicken with Basil

This was my first attempt at making Thai food at home and this was a nice simple dish to start off with. My family and I really enjoy Thai food and love the flavor of basil, so this dish was well received by all of us. The photos don't look like much, but this was a really tasty chicken dish.

We added some cashews for crunch.
Thai-Style Chicken with Basil
2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 green or red Thai chiles (or 2 serrano chiles), stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar plus extra for serving
4 teaspoons sugar plus extra for serving
3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil1
½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into
2-inch pieces
Red pepper flakes for serving

1. Place ½ cup basil leaves, garlic, and chiles in food processor and pulse until finely chopped, 6 to 8 one-second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing. Transfer 1 tablespoon mixture to small bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, and sugar; set aside. Transfer remaining mixture to medium bowl and stir in shallots and oil; set aside. Do not wash processor bowl.
2. In now empty food processor, pulse chicken and remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce until meat is chopped into approximate ¼-inch pieces, 6 to 8 one-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and marinate, refrigerated, for 15 minutes.
3. Transfer shallot-chili mixture in 12-inch heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until garlic and shallots are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken with potato masher or wooden spoon, until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Add fish sauce-chili mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 ½ cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, about 30 seconds. Serve, passing extra fish sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper, and vinegar at the table.

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