When there’s a slight nip in the air, my taste buds crave comfort foods. Whilst many long for an endless summer, I anxiously await the drop in temperatures. You see, summers on the East Coast of the USA are hot and humid; I’m not a fan of air conditioning, but in this part of the world, one cannot live without it. I welcome Fall with open arms, there’s just so much to look forward to. This Thai Basil Chicken curry was the first dish I cooked when the weather turned. I wanted to use some of the Thai sweet basil that I had in the garden, I also wanted to test the Thai chilies – be warned folks, they are pretty hot, so handle with care. It is National Curry Week in the UK, so what better way to showcase this week satiating your taste buds with a glorious aromatic curry.
One way of elevating the flavors of this Thai Basil Chicken curry is to use a mortar and pestle to hand grind your garlic, chilies and basil into a coarse chop. Unlike mincing, grinding really releases all the juices and oils thereby bringing out the extra depth of flavor, which in return makes the entire dish of chicken basil more vibrant, garlicky and spicy.
Cook up some jasmine rice on the side when you are cooking the chicken. I added some fresh corn just because I had it on hand. You’ll want your rice to be fully cooked when the chicken is ready. Spoon the Thai basil chicken over the jasmine rice and dream of Thailand 🙂 Celebrating Fiesta Friday #141 today with my Thai chicken contribution. Thank you co-hosts Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul
Thai Basil Chicken Curry
- 2 chicken breasts (or any other cut of boneless chicken)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 4 Thai chilies (according to taste)
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemongrass paste
- 1 splash of dark soy sauce
- 1 handful of Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces.
- Rinse and peel the garlic and chilies, and pound them in a mortar and pestle. They don’t need to be super fine, you just want to bring out the oils and flavors from the garlic, chilies and Thai basil.
- Pluck a good sized handful basil leaves off the stems. Heat your wok on high heat, and add about 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the chilies, garlic and a few basil leaves. Stir fry them for about 20 seconds or so until they get really fragrant, but don’t let them burn or get too dry.
- Toss in your chicken. Keep stir frying continuously. At this stage you want to continue to stir and cook your chicken until it’s just about fully cooked all the way through. If it starts to get dry, add just a splash of water.
- Add 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemongrass paste and finally a splash of dark soy sauce. Keep stir frying for about another 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk.
- Grab a handful of basil, toss it into the pan, fold it into the chicken, and then immediately turn off the heat. The basil really only needs to cook for about 5 seconds, and it will continue to wilt and cook from the existing heat of the chicken.