This was one of the first dishes I made in heavy rotation after my husband and I moved into our first place together. The fact that I work teacher hours and would get home two hours before Jim, is I'm sure one of the many reasons I developed into the cook I am today. I had plenty of time to search for recipes, find the necessary ingredients, and go at it in the kitchen every night of the week. It didn't hurt that we did not yet have a child and that we lived within walking distance to a Whole Foods. I miss that apartment so very much. I have such fond memories of strolling to Whole Foods in the afternoon, followed by simmering things on the stove and tending to them during commercial breaks of Six Feet Under reruns. That apartment will forever make me think of Six Feet Under and Lost. What I would do for the time to watch either of those shows from start to finish again...
Anyway, I digress. Getting back to this particular recipe...I found it randomly in an issue of Men's Health back in 2006 or 2007 and thought it sounded to good not to try. I was right. This is a delicious and healthy stir fry that's unlike any other stir fry you've probably ever made. It's mainly chicken and onions, which may sound uninteresting, but there is so much garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and basil (obviously per the title,) that the flavor is intensely good. I've updated it by first marinating the chicken with baking soda to make it incredibly tender and more than edible when reheated. (Does anyone else dread the second day reheated chicken funk like I do???) Serve with rice and, if you're a heat lover, a dash of hot chili oil will send this over the top.
Thai Basil Chicken
adapted from Men's Health
1 lb boneless chicken breast, diced into small bite-size pieces
1 tsp baking soda
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp ginger, minced and divided
2 Tbsp garlic, minced and divided
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 cup chopped fresh basil
4 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
Marinate the chicken with the baking soda for 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. In a large pan, heat half the peanut oil on high heat. Add the jalapeños and half of the garlic and ginger. Stir for fifteen seconds until fragrant. Then add the sliced onions. Saute, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the peanut oil. Then add the remaining ginger and garlic and again stir for about fifteen seconds. Add the chicken to the pan and raise the heat back to high. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Then return the onions to the pan along with the scallions, basil, fish sauce and chicken stock. Allow to cook until the liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite rice and enjoy!