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Chicken, Basil, and Peanut Stir-Fry

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Thai cooking has bright flavors, but you don’t really need to get authentic ingredients to create a spicy stir-fry in that cooking’s tradition. Of course, if you have access to Thai fish sauce, holy basil, and chiles, you can use them. Otherwise, use supermarket groceries, just as I often do, and you will be perfectly happy with the results.

Many markets now carry bags of washed basil leaves. If you are using basil from a bunch, pluck the basil leaves from the stems. Place them in a large bowl of cold water to loosen any grit. Lift the leaves from the water, leaving any grit behind in the bottom of the bowl, and place them in a salad spinner. Give the leaves a few whirls in the spinner to dry them.

Dressing Chicken, Basil, and Peanut Stir-Fry Up: If you live near an Asian market, or if your supermarket carries Asian groceries (as many do), make the following changes:

Substitute Thai fish sauce for the soy sauce.

Substitute Thai basil (also known as holy basil) for the regular basil.

Substitute a small Thai chile for the jalapeño.

4 servings

Cooking Methodstir-frying

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, low-fat

Mealdinner

Taste and Textureherby, nutty, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts
  • Hot cooked rice, preferably jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions

PREP: Cut chicken breast into strips about 2 inches long and ½ inch wide. Cut out and discard membrane and seeds of red pepper; cut pepper into ½-inch dice. Thinly slice shallot crosswise; you should have about 1/3 cup. Cut jalapeño into thin rings; do not remove seeds.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring almost constantly, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat over high heat. Add red pepper and jalapeño and cook, stirring almost constantly, until red pepper begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add shallot and stir until it softens, about 30 seconds.

Return chicken to skillet. Add basil and soy sauce. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until basil wilts, about 1 minute. Stir in peanuts. Serve hot, spooned over the rice.

Variation

Add 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, to the skillet with the shallots.

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