I ran across this dish on one of the blogs that I follow, and knew instantly that I had to give it a try. I mean, with a name like that, how could I go wrong? I am a fool for basil, and since I was considering making a batch of my Thai Basil Chicken anyway, I thought I'd give this version a whirl.
I must preface the remainder of this post by describing my husband's entrance to the house when he came home the night I made it.
**door opens...I am standing at the stove, dishing up a second helping as he walks in the door**
Me: hi honey
Him: Ok, honey, I don't know WHAT that is... (at this point I am expecting his usual asinine comment of "but it smells like ASS")
Him (cont'd): but D.A.M.N. (yes, he spelled it out) it smells GOOD!
Me: *smile* you should try it, I think you'd like it (notice I never tell him what it is or what's in it)
Him: Oh, I WILL. That dish and I have a DATE later tonight....
Yeah, okay, so he got in from hunting so late that night that he didn't get around to it, but MY thoughts? It was so D.A.M.N. good that I made a second batch the very next day so I could eat it for lunch all week. Holy cow, is this good, and RICH! I will be sharing it with my friend Whitney for lunch today.
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 medium red onion, chopped (I used white onion)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (by seeding the jalapeno you lose most of the spice/heat but retain great flavor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk (light? I used regular because its what I could find)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cups hot cooked rice
Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place in medium bowl. Stir together curry, salt, pepper and chili powder. Sprinkle over chicken, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large nonstick frying pan, stir onion, basil, garlic and peppers in hot oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes until no longer pink. Combine coconut milk and cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Carefully add to skillet, whisking vigorously. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in ginger. Cook and stir for another minute. Serve over hot rice.
**notes** Instead of dried basil, I chopped up a pile of fresh basil from my garden and tossed it in at the very end.
The funny thing about this dish is it started as the first step in cleaning out my pantry. I have a bad habit of buying "fun" or "interesting" canned items thinking I will use them, and then they take up a permanent residence at the back of my pantry. A few weeks back, I decided to start pulling these items out and finding ways to use them. The first one on the list? You guessed it, COCONUT MILK! Unfortunately, my effort to clean a singular item out of my pantry once and for all turned into making coconut milk a new staple in my pantry because I will be making this dish over and over again!