Thai chicken with basil is one of our favorite Summer dinners. I use a small harvest of my garden grown patch of sweet basil; it's green and lush when the weather turns warm. I like to grow an Italian variety of sweet basil but I've also grown Greek and Thai basil. It's basically whatever I find at the nursery or farmer's market and it's early in the season so I will most likely add a few more herbs into the garden. I like to make this dish medium spicy so I use one jalapeño pepper for two people, which is what the following recipe serves. I also use steamed Basmati rice because it's our favorite and I make it in a small rice cooker, which makes it easy to hold if my timing is off when preparing the Thai chicken with basil.
Thai Chicken with Basil
2 cups fresh sweet basil leaves, plus a few extra sprigs for serving
1 Jalapeño pepper, stemmed and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced thin
1 T Fish sauce
2 t Oyster sauce
2 t sugar
1 t white vinegar
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small 2 inch pieces
2 shallots, sliced
1 T vegetable oil
Chopped fresh sweet basil and lime juice for serving
Steamed basmati rice, for serving
Place 2 cups of sweet basil, jalapeño, and garlic in a food processor, pulse until finely chopped, about 15 times, scrape down as needed. Transfer a Tablespoon of the sweet basil mixture to a small bowl and stir in the fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and vinegar, set aside. Transfer the remaining sweet basil mixture from the food processor to a 10 inch skillet.
Add the cut up chicken to the food processor, pulse chicken until meat is coarsely chopped, about 6-8 pulses, scrape down if needed. Place chicken in a small bowl and refrigerate about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile back at the skillet, add the shallots and veg oil to the basil mixture, heat on medium high and stir until shallots are cooked, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, cook and stir about 2-4 minutes, until slightly pink. Add the small bowl of reserved basil fish sauce and continue cooking and stirring until no longer pink.
Serve over served Basmati rice with fresh limes and chopped fresh sweet basil.