Every year for the past three years, a meat cleaver has been on both my birthday and Christmas lists. I’m pretty sure people think I’m joking about wanting a meat cleaver. I AM SO SERIOUS. I also would like to submit this recipe as evidence that I would actually use a meat cleaver. (Please reiterate to my mom/husband. Crate and Barrel has a good one.)
The chicken in this gets diced into little cubes. The perfect task for a meat cleaver! But alas, a regular old knife will work too. Chicken that is ever so slightly frozen will make this step easier.
The itty bitty chicken pieces get stir fried in a super hot wok until they are no longer pink. Then you toss in some sliced jalapeño, onion, and garlic and cook it all some more until things start to get crispy. Next you add the sauce and keep cooking and stirring until everything gets sort of caramelized and the sauce sticks to the chicken.
Then! The best part: you take the wok off the heat and stir in your super thinly sliced basil. I use Italian basil in this and it’s so delicious. If you have access to Thai basil, that’s probably more authentic if that’s what your into. But Italian is so good, and so much easier to find, and I definitely won’t tell the basil authorities if you go Italian instead of Thai in this.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT THIS THAI BASIL CHICKEN: It’s a really good way to get your fresh basil fix when the mid-winter fresh basil is leaving much to be desired.
Since the basil in this is sliced super thin and then just wilted a little bit when it gets stirred into the chicken right before serving, it has all the fresh basil taste and you can’t even tell it’s not prime season basil.
Thai Basil Chicken
If you love basil and also love Asian food, this Thai Basil Chicken will be a quick favorite!
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, sliced thin
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
For serving: Prepared rice
Whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high. Add chicken and stir fry until no longer pink – about 3 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Continue stir frying for another 2-3 minutes, until chicken begins to crisp. Add a tablespoon of the sauce and cook and stir until it begins to caramelize and stick to the pan- about 1 minute.
Add the remaining sauce and continue stir frying. Sauce will deglaze anything stuck on the bottom of the pan and begin to glaze onto the meat after 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Serve over rice.
Adapted from Allrecipes.