Posts Tagged 'Thai Recipes'

Thai Chicken with Basil

As I was making my desserts this afternoon for this month’s gourmet club, it occurred to me that in all of June’s travel-related craziness, I never blogged my dishes from last month’s Thai-themed gourmet club.  They’re too good not to share!

I was initially a bit nervous about today’s dish – Thai Chicken with Basil – because it isn’t something you make ahead.  As many of you know, I prefer to do as much as I can ahead of time when entertaining to keep my kitchen space clean and my stress level low.  My kitchen is a gathering place and it isn’t a space I can close off, so cooking with company present involves putting on a bit of a show.

Thankfully, this dish was pretty easy to throw together.  Here are the “prep steps” I took to make things as easy as possible (everything was stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator):

  • I cut the chicken breasts and stored them separately.
  • I combined the fish sauce, soy sauce, water, and sugar in a small container.
  • I cut the onion and stored it separately.
  • I seeded and sliced the chiles, minced the garlic, and stored them together.
  • I washed the basil and stored it separately.
With the hard work done, all I had to do was combine the marinade and the chicken and then dump the right things in the pan at the right time.  Easy entertaining! Here’s the recipe:
Thai Chicken with Basil
Serves 4
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 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 remaining 1/2 cup basil.

Thai Chicken with Basil

Oh, this dish is really yummy.  There’s a hint of sweet, a hint of heat, and the sauce is delightfully salty (not overpoweringly so).  The chicken came out nicely cooked, and I love the tender onions and fresh basil.  I didn’t take time to photograph the dish during gourmet club, so I gladly made it again the following week because we enjoyed it so much.  If you’re a fan of Thai food, give this one a try!

TIPS:  When I was working on this recipe in May, SuperTarget was the only grocery store I found that carried red chiles.  (They were Fresno chiles, specifically.)  I’m seeing them in King Soopers/Kroger these days as well.

Recipe link: Thai Chicken with Basil

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

I absolutely adore Thai food. If I had to choose my favorite meal of all time, it would be Pad Thai (or maybe Pad Kee Mow) followed by sticky rice with mango or coconut ice cream. Mmmm. I haven’t cooked much Thai food, though, so I was excited to try the Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad recipe from the May 2008 issue of Everyday Food.

First, I made the Spicy Asian Dressing part of the recipe. In a medium bowl, I combined 4 thinly sliced scallion whites, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of light-brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste (my first experience with this ingredient!), and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I thinly sliced 1 1/4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts crosswise and then put the chicken and half of the Asian dressing in a resealable bag. I marinated the chicken at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Overnight in the refrigerator works as well.)

I used the marination time to cook some rice noodles and prep the rest of the ingredients. In a large pot of boiling salted water, I cooked 3 1/2 ounces of rice noodles according to package directions, drained them, and rinsed them under cold water to stop the cooking. I transferred them to my serving bowl.

Next, I sliced 2 carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and tore 1/4 cup of fresh basil into small pieces. I also cut 1 cucumber in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced it crosswise.

When the chicken had finished marinating, I heated 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, I cooked the chicken until it was cooked through (about 2 minutes per batch). I topped the rice noodles in my serving bowl with the cooked chicken and then topped the chicken with the carrots, cucumber and basil. Finally, I drizzled the dish with the other half of the Asian dressing and garnished it with sliced scallions and mint leaves.

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Now this was a salad that Dr. O actually didn’t mind eating for dinner. The sauce was amazing – spicy, salty, sour and sweet all at once, as the recipe says – and it really made the dish. The flavor was pretty authentic, which rarely seems to happen when I attempt Asian food at home. I also really liked the crunch of the raw vegetables combined with the warmth and texture of the chicken. This is a good one.

TIPS: Just a warning for you noodle lovers out there – the noodle portion in this dish is pretty skimpy. I actually ended up cooking a second batch of rice noodles so Dr. O would have plenty as a base for his lunch (leftovers) the next day. I would probably just start with twice the noodles next time.

This could be a really terrific make-ahead meal if you marinate the chicken overnight and pre-slice the vegetables. It would only take about 15 minutes to boil the noodles, cook the chicken, and throw the rest of the salad together. (Rice noodles cook in about 3 – 5 minutes.)

Recipe link: Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

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