Just before we went away I wanted to use up the last of our Thai Basil from the garden. After some googling I found this recipe online which used 1.5 cups of Thai Basil leaves. Perfect!
Longtime blog readers know that I have likely made more variations of pad kra pao gai (as it is known in Thailand) than any other dish. This isn't surprising when you consider that it is a contender for the most popular and most beloved street food dish in all of Thai cuisine. Even less shocking when you know how easy this is to make and how flexible the technique is - you can make it hotter, sweeter, saltier . . . whatever suits your mood.
With this version, from Food and Wine, an abundance of whole basil leaves joins chicken and fiery red chiles for a quick, delicious,and decidedly spicy stir-fry. Holy basil is the most authentic choice, but any variety will do. I have to say though - skip the Italian basil. I know people say it is fine, I'd agree it is fine in many dishes but NOT in Thai cooking.
Thai Chicken with Basil
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-by-2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, cut into thin slices
3 fresh red chiles, seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin slices, or 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the fish sauce, soy sauce, water, and sugar.In a large nonstick frying pan or a wok, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds longer.
Remove the chicken from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add it to the hot pan. Cook until almost done, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the marinade and cook 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the basil. Serve topped with the remaining 1/2 cup basil.