Thai Basil Chicken Stir-fry


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When living in Iowa, I would always wish that July was 60 days long. I loved the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the wonderfully warm weather. Well, I guess I got what I wished for since I now have a seemingly endless July with sunshine and garden growth nearly year round. Despite our abundance of warm weather, I still do relish this month when it returns.

This dish makes use of Thai basil, which is slightly different than sweet basil. Thai basil has purple stems and flowers, and is said to have a more stable flavor under high or extended cooking temperatures.


1 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 fresh red chilies, chopped
3 T white wine
2 green peppers, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 c Thai basil (or sweet basil), chopped
2-3 T cooking oil

3 T oyster sauce
2-3 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
2 T brown sugar


First, combine the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Chop your chicken. Put 2 T of this sauce over chicken and stir. Set aside to marinate a few minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. Set remaining stir-fry sauce aside.

Next, heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and wait for it to heat, then add the garlic and chili. Stir for one minute to release the fragrance, and then add the chicken plus a splash of white wine. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes (or until the chicken is opaque). Add a little more white wine as needed to keep pan moist.

Add the bell peppers and zucchini, plus 3/4 of the sauce. Cook until vegetables have softened but still retain some of their crispness (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and remaining sauce. Next, remove from heat and fold in the fresh basil (basil will wilt down into the hot sauce).

Serve with plenty of rice, a splash of lime, and garnish with more Thai basil.


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