Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Stir Fry Thai Basil Chicken

Seasoned gardeners tell us basil plants are a necessity in every herb garden because they are so easy to grow and that fresh basil taste tons better than the dried variety. But Zach and I have had a terrible time with our basil. We've tried growing the sweet, licorice, lime and Thai varieties. All four transplants that we had were leggy and bore small yellow leaves. We were on the edge of giving up when we decided to give basil one last shot. We bought seeds from Bennett's and grew them in a long planter. We didn't bother to follow the instructions to space the seeds. We just threw a bunch into the dirt and waited to see if they'd sprout. The results were amazing! The Thai and lettuce leaf basil we grew from seeds are luscious, leafy, and green! And we have so much basil now we are using it in all sorts of different recipes.

For week 3 in the Asian recipes series, we're sharing a simple Thai stir fry basil chicken. Perfect if you have all those basil to use!

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 lb ground chicken (or you can also use skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips)
1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp lemongrass paste
1 small green pepper, cut into strips
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut into strips
4 green onions, chopped
6-8 Thai chili, sliced thinly (or use 1/2 tsp red chili paste)
1 cup fresh basil (I used Siam Queen Thai and the remaining lime basil from our garden!)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in shallot and garlic; cook until fragrant.
Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
Add green pepper, mushrooms, green onions and chili and cook until tender.
Stir in fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, ginger and lemongrass paste. Add fresh basil leaves. Mix well.
Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
Serve with white rice.

We hope you'll try this recipe!
lettuce leaf basil (L) and Siam Queen Thai basil (R)

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