Basil Chicken in a Coconut Curry Sauce

I love any opportunity to use up some of the less popular spices in my cabinet, and this was a great way to do it. Did you you know you’re only supposed to have spices for a few months (a year, max) before they get stale? This produces immense anxiety for me, especially since I maintain a slightly indulgent spice cabinet…which I can justify because I shop at the best store on the planet for cheapie spices, Christina’s.

Anyway, back to the chicken. This was YUMMY, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a fairly spicy dish. I love spicy, but you may want to cut down to 1 jalapeno and cut back on the cayenne (which I added extra) if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing. I love Thai food, but I always feel slightly guilty ordering any sort of coconut curry in a restaurant because I know it’s made with full-fat coconut milk, which is just evil stuff. Light coconut milk tastes the exact same to me and is SO much healthier. Shout out to the We’re Not Martha gals for putting me on to this recipe – I will definitely be making this again the next time I crave a healthy Thai curry dish.
Basil Chicken in a Coconut Curry Sauce
serves 4 / adapted from this recipe / 8 ww pts (with rice)

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ground cardamom, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves, cayenne powder (+a little extra if you like heat), tumeric
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk (TJ’s)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 cups raw brown rice, cooked to package directions (I used minute rice, holla)

Here’s what I did:

  1. Mix the spices in a small bowl. Put the chicken in a medium bowl and sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture, turning it around with your hands. Let sit on the counter in the spice mixture for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large (cast iron, if you have it) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno, season with a little S&P, and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove to a medium sized bowl. Heat up the other tsp of oil and add the chicken. Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to do this in 2 batches. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the chicken will steam instead of brown and will be nasty. Brown chicken on all sides, until no longer pink inside. When cooked through, add to the veggie bowl.
  4. Add the coconut milk to the pan, but leave a little (2 tbsp) in the bottom of the can. Add the cornstarch to the can and mix it up well with a fork and then add it to the pan with the rest of the coconut milk.
  5. Using a whisk or a wooden spoon, stir and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan leftover from the chicken. Cook on medium-high and stir until thick and bubbly and then mix in the Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Add the chicken/vegetable mixture, basil and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Stick your face in this!
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