This recipe was first attempted by Matt. I could make this in my sleep, but we always seem to make it together. He made it well over a year ago and it was honestly, the greatest flavor packed into one, tiny bowl, that my newly experimenting palette had tried. It simply combines a few traditional Thai flavors, such as basil, peppers, fish sauce, soy sauce and garlic. I had never even heard of “fish sauce” until that day and you couldn’t get me to touch something by that name before, but honestly, folks, if you try this recipe, you will go through at least 4 bottles of fish sauce a year. So don’t worry about that whole, “I’ll only need it for this recipe and then I’ll have a 9/10ths full bottle of fish sauce in my fridge till I die. You’ll use it. And you’ll be happy that you tried something totally new….well, most of you. 🙂
Thai Basil Chicken
1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups of minute rice
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup fresh leaf basil
3-4 seeded jalapeños (or 1-2 Thai peppers – we can never find them around here, though)
5-6 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tbs fish sauce (found in the Asian food isle)
2-3 tbs soy sauce (recommended: Pearl River Bridge)
This recipe goes much more smoothly if you get everything chopped and ready to throw in because the cooking goes fast. Stick the chicken thighs in the freezer about an hour or so before cooking because it’s much easier to chop if it’s a little solid. Matt has a sort of obsession with how little he chops the chicken for this recipe. He likes bits of chicken about as small as the bits of diced onion. I’m a tad bit lazy on this part, but I will admit – when everything is the same size in the bowl, it eats a lot easier. 🙂
Heat up a wok over high heat. Add a little peanut or olive oil to the wok and let it get hot. Toss in your garlic and stir until light brown. The second it is brown, throw in your onions and stir a few times. (if you burn the garlic, you have to start with fresh again. There is no pain like burned garlic). After the onions cook and are beginning to soften, toss in the jalapeños. If you like a spicier dish, wait until after you cook the chicken to toss in the peppers.
Toss in your chicken and continue stirring until the chicken is just cooked through. (about 4 min on high heat). Add in your fish and soy sauce and stir.
You may have to let a bit of liquid cook off. Depending on the chicken you buy, some are injected with water and so it can take a while to cook this off. You don’t want a really liquidy dish. Let most of it cook off before you plate.
While the juices are cooking off, equally divide the rice among 4 bowls. (cereal bowl size). Right before you ladle the chicken, stir in the basil. Stir the pan a few times until the basil wilts (will only take a few seconds) and then divide equally among the bowls. This dish is served with a fried egg on top (really, it’s the best ever) and I use the bottom of the wok to fry them because it still has all those lovely juices and onion bits that you can incorporate into your egg. You may need to add a little more oil to fry so they don’t stick to the bottom.
Serves 4 very happy people.