The upside to all the rain that we’ve been having lately is that my little vegetable garden is doing great! It looks like I should have some peppers and tomatoes soon, and its already been a few weeks since I’ve had to buy fresh herbs. My basil plants has gotten to the point of ridiculousness (I meant to take a pic, but I forgot) needed some TLC. Normally when it gets to that point I’d make a big batch of pesto, but my freezer is already fully stocked with pesto from Whole in the Wall, so that just seemed silly. I thought about other ways to use it up, and decided that basil chicken would be a good idea. I’ve been craving Thai lately anyway.

Basil chicken is probably one of the simplest Thai dishes to make. Because basil plays such a huge roll in the flavor, there really isn’t a lot of need for a ton of other ingredients. If you have a basil plant, there’s a good chance you’ll always have what you need on hand to make this! Its  good weeknight meal too – because you cut the chicken into tiny pieces before cooking  it only takes about 15 minutes to cook.

Traditionally this would be served with rice, but I served it with a version of the Thai Noodles that I wrote about here. I more or less followed the same recipe, but I omitted the shrimp and substituted soy sause for the fish sauce (I used the last of the fish sauce in the chicken).

I made my chicken extra spicy. If you like less spice, you might want to use a mild flavored oil like canola instead of the chili oil. You can also use 1 chili instead of 2.

Thai Basil Chicken

  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 thai chilis, minced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx 1/2 lb), cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 cup basil, roughly chopped

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and chili and let cook for about 2 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add chicken. Cook until done – about 5-7 minutes. Add fish sauce and basil. Toss to combine. Cook another minute or two to allow basil to wilt. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.