Thai Basil Chicken
I can’t say enough about how simple and delicious this recipe is. And fun, too. Made this last week and put it in the freezer, to be taken out on a night when all hell has broken loose and we needed something quick. Suffice it to say, it was a hit, not only for the rich flavor, but for the fun of eating the supper on one plate, like a wrap. The recipe calls for ground chicken, but you could use ground turkey or pieces of chicken thigh or breast, or almost any poultry you find on sale–we always find good inexpensive ground turkey at our local Giant market, and this dish can be made up in minutes. You need to try it out, and serve the result wrapped in green-leaf lettuce leaves like a wrap. It’s a hoot.
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, veins removed, cut in thin julienne strips
- 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, packed
- 4-7 minced Thai chili peppers
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted dark sesame seed oil
- green-leaf lettuce leaves, washed, dried, split in half down the center stem and stem removed
Mince garlic and chili pepper together. Clean and pick the basil leaves from their stems. It may appear like a lot of leaves, but the leaves will shrink when cooked and this dish’s flavor comes from the leaves.
Fry the garlic and chili peppers in oil over high heat. When garlic starts to turn brown, add the ground chicken. Stir constantly. The juice will start to come out. Keep stirring until all the juice is gone, 2-3 minutes. Add the bell pepper strips and stir fry two minutes. Add the fish sauce, then the basil leaves. Quickly turn it over a few times to mix the basil leaves with the meat and wilt them slightly. Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and toss to mix. Serve with cleaned green leaf lettuce leaves to wrap, or with hot steamed rice.