Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thai Chicken w/ Fresh Basil (p1)

This recipe comes from the Atkins site. We tried it years ago and its been a family favorite ever since.

Here are my suggestions:
  • Use all fresh ingredients as it will taste better.
  • Chicken thighs aren't as good in this dish as breast meat.
  • DON'T use dry ground basil, fresh basil adds so much to this dish!!!
  • We like adding salted cashews to compliment this dish in flavor and texture.
  • "Thai basil (available in Asian markets) is more fragrant than the usual varieties, but you can use Italian basil in a pinch"....and that's what I have always used.
  • As the site says "Don't skip the fish sauce in this recipe as it a lot of the flavor".
Warning: If you have never used Fish sauce before try not to smell stinks! In fact years ago when I first tried this dish I was not familiar with fish sauce and took a BIG whiff of it. Boy was that a mistake!!! During the entire time the chicken was cooking, I was worried it would stick up my house as I felt the smell was so strong. Really the smell was just in my nose and I was more focused on it. Due to my HUGE sniff of it however, the odor totally turned my stomach and I didn't want to even try the dish. I decided I would let my husband just have all of it. I'd fix him his plate that night and the rest would all go to him for leftovers over the next few days (he'll eat anything).

When the dish was done it looked pretty, but again I just couldn't get the smell out of my mind. I couldn't even bring myself to taste it, which is odd for me but the smell really did a number on my stomach. But as I was dishing the chicken out onto his plate I got some on my finger and without even realizing it, habit kicked in and I licked it!! WOW, was I shocked. It didn't taste at all like the fish sauce, in fact it didn't taste at all like I has imagined. It was mildly sweet and tangy/spicy. It was very good and I ended up fixing myself a plate of it.

It was so good that I even got my daughter to try it (I kept her out of the kitchen cuz I KNEW if she saw that it had fish sauce in it she'd refuse to even try it) but she did and LOVED IT!!! She would even ask for it...only she'd refer to it as that "Chicken Teriyaki"??? I'd tell her there was no Teriyaki in it but she has always called it fact we now refer to it as: "Martina's Chicken Teriyaki", Ha ha. Now she can be a pretty picky kid at times and for her to enjoy it so much is really impressive! I hope you give this dish a try and enjoy it as much as we have!

Atkins Thai Chicken w/ Fresh Basil (p1)
(recipe from Atkins site, adaptions from Nau-Dee)

1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2- by 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fish sauce, (such as nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons Splenda
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic (fresh or from a jar)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, small leaf variety or chopped
2 to 2 1/2 T water (its never been listed in the ingredients but I usually use this amount. You don't want any more than this as it will be too runny).
1/3 to 1/2 c salted Cashew halves or pieces.
  1. Combine chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar substitute in a zip lock bag and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Heat until hot but not smoking. Add green onion, garlic and pepper flakes and stir-fry 1 to 2 Min's.
  3. Remove chicken and marinade and add to onion mixture. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. If there is still a lot of liquid left remove the chicken and boil marinade down until it reduces and thickens a bit. Add chicken back to skillet and remove from heat.
  4. Stir in 1 cup basil 1/3 to 1/2 c cashews. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining basil. ENJOY!!!
Chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flake

Chicken marinating for 30 Min's.
Stir fried in the skillet
stir frying all of it together
All done and looking colorful, pretty and ready to eat!


justme said...

emmm....yuummmieeee :D,nice blog :)

MindiMo said...

I made a version of this Thai Chicken... it was sooo yummy... i will have to make it again and take pics of it and send it your way... it was awesome!!!.. and you are absoulutely right about the fish sauce.. it stinks, but it adds soooooo much flavor!!!