Sometimes I spend more time trying to decide what to make for dinner than I do actually making dinner. But when I just can’t decide what to make, I usually head over to Simply Recipes and just browse. You all know I’m obsessed with Martha Stewart and everything she does, but her website is not easy to navigate for inspiration. But Elise’s site? I can browse through it when I have NO idea what to make and usually come away with at least 3 ideas in no time at all. This time one of them was Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce. Please, please don’t be intimidated by the seemingly long list of ingredients!
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce (serves 4):
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t ground coriander
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t ground cloves
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 t chili powder
- 1/4 t tumeric (I didn’t have tumeric, but it didn’t seem to be a huge deal)
- 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs (the recipe said thighs would be more flavorful, but I used chix breasts and thought they were incredibly flavorful!)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used 3 for added spice!)
- 2 T olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 t cornstarch
- 1 t Worcestershire sauce
- 3 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 T finely chopped fresh ginger
- Hot cooked rice (I used brown)
It might sound like a lot of spices involved and spices can be kind of pricey. But remember, once you have them in your kitchen, you don’t have to buy them again and they last a long time and through lots of recipes. So, spices are definitely a good investment!
Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
Rinse the chicken, pat it dry, and cut it into 1 inch pieces. Put it in a bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture all over it. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Or put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Make sure all your vegetables are chopped. I used my Chef’n VeggiChop to chop the onions. I’ll say it again, I don’t work for Chef’n and they didn’t send me this. I just LOVE their products so much and I feel the need to share my love with you. Because they will make your life easier. I often dream of having a huge kitchen just so I can stock it full of Chef’n products. How pretty would my kitchen be? And fun? Anyway, I cut the onion into quarters and threw them into the VeggiChop. Pull the handle a bunch of times and my onion is perfectly chopped!
See? Chopping onions is one of my most-hated kitchen tasks, so I’m really loving this. Also, you don’t shed any tears when VeggiChop chops your onion for you.
I also used the VeggiChop to chop the jalapeno.
OK, and I used my GarlicZoom to chop the garlic. I’m like one huge walking Chef’n advertisement. Don’t get me wrong, if they wanted to give me a job, I’d totally take it. But for now, I’m sadly not employed by them (and why would they ever hire me when I give them all this free advertising?? Hmmmm).
Heat 1 T of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and put in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Using the same pan, add another tablespoon of oil on medium-high and add half of the chicken pieces, spreading them out to make sure they’re not crowded. Cook for a few minutes on each side to brown. When they’re cooked through, remove from the pan and add them to the bowl of veggies.
Do the same thing with the second batch of chicken.
Add the coconut, except for a couple tablespoons to the pan. In a small bowl add the corn starch and mix with the rest of the coconut milk to dissolve it. Now, add this mixture to the coconut milk. Cook on medium-high and stir until thick and bubbly and then mix in the Worcestershire sauce.
Add the chicken vegetable mixture, along with basil and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes.
Serve over rice… brown is always best!
Oh my goodness, this was so incredibly flavorful and satisfying! The addition of the extra jalapeno (and the fact that I didn’t scrape all the seeds out) definitely spiced it up a bit, in a really good way.
I’ve never attempted making my own curry (to be honest, I thought you made curry from curry powder and didn’t realize it’s actually a combination of spices!), but this is something I’ll most definitely be doing again. There are sooo many things hat can be done with curry!
The photo on SimplyRecipes didn’t look quite as “saucy” as mine and I’m thinking next time I might not use the whole can of coconut milk. Then again, it was delightful to add extra sauce over the rice.
Even though I didn’t use chicken thighs, the chicken was incredibly tender and really, there was absolutely nothing I didn’t like about this dish. In case you haven’t been able to tell by this whole post! And it’s the perfect warm-up dish for today’s GROSS and RAINY weather in Boston. While watching American Idol, of course. Any early favorites??