join me in the kitchen

Thai Chicken and Basil


I always talk about how much I prefer quick, fresh home cooked meals to takeout and this recipe here really reinforces that!  Throw this chicken in a box with a wire handle and you will swear it comes from the freshest most delicious Thai takeout restaurant that ever existed.   

There is a lot of flavor and a lot of kick, so adjust your seasonings accordingly if you fear the fire!  We really love hot and spice so this was right up our alley.  My husband and I agree that this will be added to my “go-to” recipe pile.  It is that good!  I served this over brown rice with a side of steamed edamame.  Delicious.

A note: The measurements don’t create as much sauce as we would have liked—especially because the brown rice really sucks up the juice.  I suggest adjusting the liquid ingredients to your liking to get the amount of sauce that is right for you.  I will probably double, or even triple, the liquid measurements next time I make this.  What can I say, I like sauce…

One more note: Of all places, this recipe comes from Men’s Health Magazine!  I love getting recipes from a variety of places and I won’t lie, this is not the first time I’ve cooked from a Men’s mag!  You never know where you will find a great recipe! 

Chile Chicken and Basil:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Thai bird chilies or serano chilies
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil (you could also use peanut oil)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (I used chicken breast tenders/strips–they are already sliced nice pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon red chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil

Very finely chop the chilies and garlic.  Combine them on your cutting board and add a pinch of salt.  Use the side of your knife to smear the finely chopped bits into a paste. 

Preheat your wok (or pan) over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the chili/garlic paste you just made.  Cook for a few minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Chop the chicken into smaller pieces and add them to the pan.  Once the chicken is lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes) add the soy sauce, chili paste, sweet chili sauce, and hoisin sauce.  Toss to coat the chicken.  Cook until the chicken is done through, about 3-5 more minutes.

Crank some freshly ground pepper over the chicken and then add the basil to the pan.  Cook until  the basil is just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from recipe found in Men’s Health magazine March issue.

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