Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry


There is a Chinese restaurant near Ryan’s office that serves amazing Thai Basil Chicken. If I have ever decided I don’t want to cook dinner, I ask him to stop on his way home to pick some up. It’s become my go-to meal when it comes to takeout. Their version is very soupy, with lots of broth, and full of wonderful basil flavor. The onions and peppers are sliced very thin and there is a perfect level of heat.

One of our new year’s resolutions was to stick to a budget. Another was to eat healthier. Obviously not eating takeout as much is helpful on both counts. That hasn’t stopped me from craving that wonderful Thai Basil Chicken though!

A couple weekends ago, I was browsing through Martha Stewart’s website when I stumbled upon her recipe for Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry. I added it to the menu for the following Monday I was so excited to test it out!

I will interject with a little note here about my feelings on Martha Stewart. I am a big fan. You will not hear me say one negative thing about her. My only complaint – and it’s a small one that is easily remedied – is that her recipes tend to have a little less oomph than things I typically make. Don’t get me wrong, I use a lot of her recipes, and I love her cookbooks. I just usually end up adding extra seasoning to any of her recipes that I make repeatedly. I always try to prepare it “by the book” the first time and customize it on subsequent efforts.

As per usual, I thought the Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry was a little lacking in the flavor department. I would have preferred a bit more soy sauce and maybe a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. I will say that it was much better leftover, and I’m guessing that is because the flavors had a bit more time to meld together. Part of the problem could be that I wasn’t able to find Thai basil and ended up using regular basil. This may make a difference, as Martha says it can. Overall, this was good–four stars good, and I will definitely make it again. I might search for other recipes that are more soup-y, or try to come up with a way to add broth to this one, but at least I’ve been inspired to attempt a takeout favorite at home. Thanks, Martha.

Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into slices
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 ½ cups basil, roughly chopped

1. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated; season generously with salt and pepper.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Cook half the chicken, turning once, until browned, but not completely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken. Transfer chicken to plate. Set aside. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

3. To skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion, and bell peppers; cook over medium-high heat, tossing often, until beginning to brown, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add 1/4 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, and chicken to pan; cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves.

Source: Martha Stewart
4 servings | 5 POINTS

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February 8, 2009. recipes.

One Comment

  1. Tianne replied:

    mmmmm this is so doable!

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