Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thai Basil Chicken

Last nights dinner was a complete disaster. It came from one of my favorite magazines and looked absolutely delicious but it was terrible. Bland, boring and just plain gross. There is nothing I hate worse that spending time and ingredients on something that once you take one bite of, you were wishing you would have just eaten a bowl or cereal or picked up Little Caesars.

I was more than a little skeptical trying another new recipe after last nights disappointment. This however was the complete opposite! The kind of dinner that has you going back for seconds and hoarding all the leftovers.The flavors of the sweet coconut milk blended with spicy chili sauce, tender onions and peppers & juicy chicken were out of this world. It does use a few ingredients you might not have on hand but I easily found all of them at my local grocery store. This is the first recipe I have tried from this cookbook and now I'm itching to try more.

Thai Basil Chicken
adapted from Entertaining at Home Cookbook

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups uncooked Jasmine or other long grain white rice
1 15 oz. can coconut milk, 2 tbsp. reserved
1 cup fresh Thai Basil leaves (I used regular basil)
2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tbsp. Chinese chili sauce with garlic *I would start out with 1 tbsp. 2 is quite spicy*
1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large walla walla or other sweet onion, sliced into thin slivers
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 in. cubes
2 red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed, and sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the rice according to package directions. When it has finished cooking, stir in 2 tbsp. of the coconut milk.
While the rice is cooking, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the basil, fish sauce, and chile sauce. Pulse until the basil is coarsely chopped and the mixture has a pestolike consistency. Add the remaining coconut milk and process just until blended. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the sesame oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns light tan, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook just until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the basil-coconut sauce, reduce the heat to low, and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the salt and pepper, stir well, and then remove from the heat.
Divide the rice among warmed dinner plates and spoon the chicken mixture over the top. Serve immeadiately.

Posted by: Sallie
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