Monday, 25 June 2012

Recipe: Chilli Basil Chicken

Pretty potatoes and onions

Before I start with this recipe, I feel the need to add a quick disclaimer because this recipe isn't Indian, it's actually Thai. However, I'm including it because it was possibly one of the tastiest chicken dishes I've had in a long time and the simplicity means it will be something I plan on making often when I get back to London. The ingredients are all items that you probably have around the house already so I think it would make a great weekday dinner. 

sliced garlic 

 This recipe comes from Nipsi's cousin Shiv (known professionally as DJ Shivamoon) who was kind enough to cook for us when we invited ourselves over one evening.

Sliced garilc, basil and chillies

For this recipe, you will need:

450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4+ cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2+ red chillies, chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
10-12 holy basil leaves, torn

Start by adding the vegetable oil to a wok on medium high heat and, once its hot, throw in the garlic and chillies. We used about six cloves of garlic since we all love it but the recipe can easily be adjusted to taste. The same is true of the chillies. We used dried red chillies since that's what Shiv had on hand but fresh could also be used. If you are using dry chillies, make sure to give them a quick dip in warm water to rehydrate them a little before using.

garlic and chillies in the wok

After the garlic and chilli have heated enough to become fragrant, add the bite size chicken pieces. Turn frequently to ensure a golden colour on all sides.

garlic, chillies and chicken

When the chicken has reached a golden colour and is almost completely cooked through, it's time to add the fish sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar.

soy sauce and fish sauce

The sugar will help to caramelize the chicken and the soy and fish sauces will reduce slightly as the dish continues to cook. When you're almost finished, toss in the holy basil. Holy basil is slightly different to the regular basil we're used to seeing and it becomes more fragrant as it heats. However, if you can only find regular basil, that will certainly work as well. On a whim, we decided to throw in some bok choy, a type of Chinese cabbage because, again, it's what Shiv had on hand. I think it was a nice addition and gave the dish a nice green element. A good substitute could be spinach or kale if you wanted to add in some extra nutrients. Otherwise, the dish is delicious on it's own too!

almost ready to eat! 

We served this dish with just plain basmati rice and it was delicious. Give it a try! Or, alternatively, come over to my house when I'm back in London... odds are good that this dish will be on the menu!

Chilli basil chicken, basmati rice, and thai green curry 

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