Chicken with Fresh Mint and Basil Recipe

fresh mint and basilThis simply prepared dish takes me right back to my honeymoon in Chiang Mai. The combination of fresh mint, coconut milk, Thai basil and chiles is magical.

Be careful when handling chile peppers. They contain oils that can burn your skin and especially your eyes. Wear rubber gloves or try generously greasing your fingers with shortening.

Recommended Equipment:
Medium rice cooker; fuzzy logic or on/off

1 cup Thai jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 Serrano chile peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
3/4 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced, divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces
2 tbsp granulated sugar
pinch freshly ground white pepper
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

  1. In the rice cooker bowl, combine rice, coconut milk and water. Set the rice cooker for the Regular cycle. At the end of the cycle, hold rice on the Keep Warm cycle.
  2. In a wok or large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry garlic and shallots for about 2 minutes or until shallots are softened and translucent. Add Serrano peppers and two-thirds of the basil; stir-fry for 1 minute or until basil wilts. Add chicken and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add sugar, pepper, fish sauce and water; stir fry for about 2 minutes or until sauce bubbles and thickens. Add mint and the remaining basil; stir-fry for 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Fluff rice with a wooden spoon or plastic paddle and scoop onto serving pates or into bowls. Top with chicken stir-fry. Serve immediately.
Shrimp with Fresh Mint and Basil on Thai Jasmine Rice:
Substitute 1 lb (500 g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, for the chicken breasts.

For a spicier version of this dish, replace the Serrano peppers with 1 Thai chile pepper, sliced, with seeds, or add 1 tspn (5 mL) Thai chili sauce (such as Sriracha).

Serrano Peppers
The Serrano pepper is a smaller version of the jalapeƱo but is said to be five times as hot! Serranos have thin walls, so they don't need to be charred, steamed or peeled before use. They are perfect for salsas, relishes and garnishes, and taste great when roasted. They are commonly used in Thai and Mexican dishes.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes by Katie Chin

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