Thai Basil Chicken
This Thai Basil Chicken recipe is a ridiculously quick and easy stir fry that’s huge on flavor, low on effort and destined to become an easy weeknight family favorite. It’s made with chopped chicken thighs, bell peppers, and loads of basil blanked in an aromatic savory, salty, sour, spicy stir fry sauce spiked with lime, ginger and garlic. This Thai Basil Chicken also earns major points because it’s made with pantry friendly ingredients, is easy to customize with your favorite veggies and you can make it as mild or as numbingly hot as you like. Serve this versatile, filling, satisfying Thai Basil Chicken with some hot steamed rice and skip the takeout forever. If you’re feeling extra fancy, add some chicken satay and Tom Kha Gai for a complete Asian feast.
Servings 4 -6
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil or other neutral oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped into bite small pieces (1/4-1/2”)
- 1/2 tsp EACH coriander powder, ground turmeric, dried basil
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 2 red or orange bell peppers chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger (or 1 tsp ground)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup raw cashews UNSALTED
- 1 cup fresh Thai basil roughly torn or regular basil
In a medium bowl, whisk the Sauce ingredients together; set aside.
While the chicken is still on the cutting board, pat it dry and toss with the coriander powder, turmeric, and dried basil.
Optional: Dry roast cashews by heating a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add cashews and toast, stirring occasionally until toasted in spots. Remove to a plate/bowl.
Heat the oil in the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and shallots and cook just until chicken is opaque. Add peppers, garlic and ginger and cook an addition 60 seconds.
Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cashews. Taste and season with additional chili sauce for spicier, lime juice for tangier or sugar for sweeter.
Serve with rice.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- How to quickly chop chicken. Chop chicken into 2-inch pieces then pulse in your food processor 6-8 times until chopped into approximate ¼-inch pieces.
- Use chicken thighs. Chicken thighs emerge juicier than chicken breasts without the assistance off a marinade.
- Use reduced sodium soy sauce. Soy sauce is the main ingredient in this recipe so make sure it is reduced sodium or your sauce will be way too salty.
- Prep sauce and veggies before you start cooking. This Thai Basil Chicken recipe comes together in MINUTES once you start cooking so make sure everything is chopped before oil ever touches your pan.
- Toast cashews. Toasting the cashews really amps up the flavor and only takes a couple extra minutes. Make sure you use UNSALTED cashews or your stir fry will be way too salt.
- Customize heat. Start with less chili sauce and add more to taste. You can always add heat but it’s hard to take away!
- Customize veggies. You can substitute the veggies for your favorites.
- Don’t overcook chicken. For the juiciest chicken, don’t overcook! Cook it just until opaque then let it finish cooking in the sauce.
HOW TO PREP AHEAD
This Thai Basil Chicken recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes but most of that time is prep. If you want dinner to come together in minutes, then you can prep everything ahead of time. Here’s how:
- Chop chicken: chop the chicken by hand or in the food processor and toss with spices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Make stir fry sauce: whisk the ingredients together up to 24 hours in advance and store, covered in the refrigerator. Shake it up or whisk it to recombine before using to recombine.
- Chop veggies: you can chop your shallots, garlic, grate your ginger and chop the bell peppers 24 hours in advance and store in separate air tight containers in the refrigerator.
- Cook! Within the next 48 hours, proceed with the recipe and dinner can be on the table in 10 minutes!