Sweet and Spicy Basil Chicken


Cooking with ingredients I normally don’t get to use is so fun and exciting for me. I love experimenting and learning how to balance flavors and this recipe really proves how sweet and spicy go well together. Your palate is in for a major surprise!

I originally found this recipe years ago in a Women’s Health Magazine. Their version- believe it or not- is actually way spicier. Being from Louisiana, I’m all about some spice and I’m normally not afraid to try foods that are going to make me wanna slap my momma, but I figured I would tone down their original recipe just a tad because it was pretty damn hot. In the magazine’s recipe, they also add 2 Thai bird chilies to the recipe. I decided I would omit the chilies and add a small amount of Sriracha sauce. If you aren’t familiar with Sriracha, it is an Asian condiment used to enhance and spice up noodle dishes, rice dishes, soups, stews, etc.

Another reason I love this recipe is because it calls for a large amount of basil. I have a small herb garden on my balcony and basil is definitely one of the herbs I use the most. It really brings a sweet, earthy tone to any dish that you simply can’t beat.

Warning:  this recipe is very much on the spicy side, so if your palate isn’t use to spicy foods, simply omit the sirracha sauce. I like to eat this with brown rice because the rice helps tone the spiciness down while the fiber fills you up.

For this recipe you will need:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces

2 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1/2 Tbsp red-chili paste

1 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

First, heat a large sauté pan or small dutch oven with 1 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the chicken to the pan and brown on all sides. *Overcrowding the pan with too much chicken will reduce the heat so the chicken won’t sear like you want it to.* Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through, just get the brown color on the outside and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp peanut or canola oil and the rest of the chicken to the hot pan and repeat the process.

Once all of the chicken is browned and removed, add the minced garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, red chili paste, sugar, and Sriracha. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 10-15 minutes. I put the lid on top of my pot and turned the heat down to a simmer. At the end, add the freshly cracked pepper and basil. Serve immediately with the brown rice.

This recipe will fulfill your Asian food cravings without you having to feel guilty about it! Enjoy!


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