Thai Chicken with Basil

Thai Chicken with Basil

Thai Chicken with Basil


Makes 4 servings


1 small bunch fresh basil, divided
2 cups vegetable oil
6 large shallots, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece fresh ginger (about 1 inch square), peeled and cut into thin strips
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
2 fresh Thai chili peppers or jalapeño peppers,* cut into thin slices
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Boston lettuce leaves
Japanese mizuna, cherry tomatoes and additional Thai peppers for garnish

*Thai chilies and jalapeño peppers can sting and irritate the skin, so wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch your eyes.


  1. Set aside 8 small basil sprigs. Slice remaining basil into strips; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat until oil registers 375°F on deep-fry thermometer. Add 1 or 2 basil sprigs and deep-fry about 15 seconds or until basil is glossy and crisp. Remove fried sprig with slotted spoon to paper towels; drain. Repeat with remaining sprigs, reheating oil between batches. Reserve fried basil.
  3. Let oil cool slightly. Pour off most of oil leaving 1/4 cup in wok. Heat over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add shallots, garlic and ginger; cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken and stir-fry about 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Push chicken up side of wok, letting juices remain in bottom.
  4. Continue to cook about 5 to 7 minutes or until all liquid evaporates. Stir in chili slices, brown sugar and salt; cook 1 minute. Stir in reserved basil strips. Remove from heat.
  5. Line serving plate with lettuce. Spoon chicken mixture on top. Top with reserved fried basil. Garnish, if desired.

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