Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thai Chicken with Basil

This dish is an fantastic blend of sweet, spicy, and salty. I got it from 365: No Repeats. I've made a different version of this before, but it was way too saucy and didn't have the honey and heat that makes this version such an interesting contrast of flavors. The only thing I didn't like about Rachael Ray's version is that she said to serve it over shredded iceberg lettuce; I did rice instead. If you don't want to serve it over rice, I think using shredded savoy cabbage, quickly braised in simmering chicken or vegetable stock, rather than lettuce would be a healthier, tastier option.

I had to make one change to the recipe. It called for a red bell pepper, which I bought. However, when I cut into it, I saw that there was mold all over the seeds inside. Nasty! The best laid plans, eh? So it went in the trash. I think it would have been great with the bell pepper--definitely try to include it if you make this recipe!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered, and thinly sliced
4 green onions, cut into two-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into thin shreds
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut, corn, or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Get a pot of rice on the stove first thing, before you start any prepping. If you need help making it, check out my tips in this post.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper while it's still on the cutting board. Heat up the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it's no longer pink. Throw in the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and bell pepper strips. It will smell insanely good as soon as the garlic and ginger hit the hot pan; give yourself a moment to lean over and inhale the deliciousness :-) Cook for two minutes, then add the green onions and stir fry for another minute.

Whisk the honey into the soy sauce and add to the pan. Toss everything together. I added a small cornstarch slurry at this point to thicken the sauce, but I'm psycho about having a thick sauce--it's not necessary! Add the basil and stir until wilted.

Rating: This is awesome
It is so simple, yet SO yummy. The spiciness makes it great for the sultry summer nights we've been having here lately!

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