October 27, 2014

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir Fry

So, today definitely feels like Monday. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't go back to sleep. What to do... what to do... Aha! Blog post! (I was overdue to post anyway.)

Here you go, folks -- Spicy Basil Chicken Stir Fry. I took this idea from an amazing Thai basil dish I had awhile back. I'm a sucker for anything spicy and with basil. The traditional Asian flavors paired with distinctive basil does something wonderful to my tastebuds.

I found a great rice medley at Trader Joe's to pair with this dish. You can microwave it! How's that for easy?

I used to be really intimidated to make anything Asian inspired. So many ingredients, I thought. I don't know how to stir fry, I said.

But now I have several Asian dishes on my blog. If you can follow directions, you're golden. I promise.

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir Fry
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen

1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (substitute tamari for gluten-free)
5 teaspoons cornstarch, divided (you'll use part of it in the sauce and part for the chicken)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes (add more for extra heat)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons vegetable or coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion, diced or cut into thin strips (I used a yellow onion)
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
Hot, cooked rice, quinoa or noodles for serving

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, vinegar, red pepper flakes and sugar until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining 3 teaspoons cornstarch.

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the chicken, breaking up any clumps, and cook until it is golden brown on all sides and just barely cooked through (it will cook a few minutes longer later in the recipe). Scrape the chicken onto a plate, keeping as much liquid in the skillet as possible.

Add the garlic, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet over medium heat. Whisk the sauce quickly before pouring it into the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, while the sauce simmers and thickens, 1-2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Sprinkle with basil and serve over rice, noodles, quinoa or by itself.

*The original recipe calls for mango. I omitted because I wanted a savory dish, but feel free to add 1 cup of chopped mango if you wish.



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