Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

Look!  I finally made it home for dinner!  I haven't been ignoring you guys for the past week.  I have been eating dinner at my desk (along with breakfast and lunch).  But I made it home tonight!  Granted, I didn't make it home until 10:00 pm so it was a late dinner, but I made it home!  And Alex waited until I was in the car headed home from work before cooking dinner for both of us.  Isn't he a nice husband?  I told him to go ahead and cook/eat while I was still at the office (and really, where else but NYC would you be at work on a Saturday and be downright excited to leave the office by 10:00 pm?), but he decided to wait for me anyway.  Like I said - don't I have a nice husband?

Anyway, for my first home-cooked meal in over a week, this was an excellent choice.  It was amazing.  It had such a great balance of spice, sweetness, and the aromatic freshness of the Thai basil.  And the flavors were so authentically Thai.  Thank you Rasamalaysia for the recipe that we based our dish on.  I order a version of this dish quite often from a Thai restaurant near my office and this version is every bit as good.  And I don't make that claim lightly.  It really was that good.  I was a little shocked by how delicious it was.  I picked up the Thai basil that we used for this dish last week at the farmers' market and I have been just dying to make this dish ever since.  I was really worried that the Thai basil would be long past its prime by the time I had a night off from work and could eat dinner at home.  Luckily the basil was just fine - better than fine actually.  The heady perfume and flavor of the basil really permeated the entire dish.  It was just glorious.   And not only was it glorious, it was remarkably easy to make.  Once you have the dish prepped it comes together very quickly and with very little effort.  And it doesn't require a ton of ingredients.  Hurray for a very successful home-cooked meal!  And here's to hoping that fairly soon work will calm down for me and we will be able to cook more at home.  Fingers crossed.

Recipe after the jump!

Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow
Adapted from Rasamalaysia

16 oz ground chicken breast
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sweet onion, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 large bunch of Thai basil leaves
4 Thai chilis, thinly sliced into rounds
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil

Add oil into a wok over medium-high heat, follow by garlic and onion. Stir fry until aromatic, then add the ground chicken into the wok. Use the spatula to quickly stir-fry and break the ground chicken into small lumps. When the chicken meat changes from pink and starts to brown, toss in the chilies and the fish sauce, palm sugar, and sweet soy sauce.  Continue to stir-fry.  Add in the basil leaves and stir-fry just until the basil leaves begin to wilt and you smell the fragrance of the basil leaves.  

Season with white pepper, stir to combine, dish out and serve immediately with rice.

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