Monday, 6 September 2010

Chicken with Chilli Peppers and Basil

Last night for us saw the return of a book we haven't really used very much: Ken Hom's top 100 Stir-Fry Recipes.  Not really sure why we haven't made more use of it as we love Chinese food - or anything of that elk - having visited Vietnam and Cambodia we are certainly fans of Asian food.  We wanted to find something simple, preferably with ingredients we already had in and this one ticked all the boxes for us. Plus, generally, chinese food (and by that we mean from the local takeaway!) isn't gluten free, so the only way to satisfy the craving is to cook it at home.

Chicken with Chilli Peppers and Basil

It was deliciously rich and spicy and has a good quantity of Garlic - in fact equal measure of garlic to the shallots which surprised me a little.  But then again I think it is easy to be too cautious with proportions and Mr Hom obviously knows best.  We trusted him and tried to use the exact quantities he suggested, albeit scaled down for 2 servings.

The Basil at the end adds a wonderful freshness that I rarely get when stir frying but brought back memories of our South East Asia Soiree of last year.  The only flavour missing for me really was ginger - but it is one of the only recipes in the book that doesn't have ginger so perhaps that was a conscious effort on Ken's part.

Here is how we did it:

You will need:

2 Tablespoons Groundnut Oil
2 Chicken Breasts - cut into chunks.  (Ken said to use thighs but we only had breast so we reduced the initial cooking time accordingly)
1.5 Tablespoons finely sliced shallot
1.5 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 hot red chilli (use bird eye if you have it)
1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
1 Teaspoon of soy sauce (we used gluten free)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Handful of basil leaves

Heat the wok to high temp and add oil. Stir fry the chicken for a few minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Re-heat the wok and stir-fry the shallots and garlic for 3 mins.

Return the chicken to the wok and add the chilli, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar - cook for 5 mins or so.

To accompany the dish we stir-fried some more veg in a little soy and fish sauce

Stir through the basil leaves at the end and serve with steamed rice and the veg.

We really enjoyed the intense flavours and it has inspired us to dig out our Vietnamese and Cambodian Cooking Book again.  This time for some more challenging dishes or even try and recreate some of the dishes we had there.  We will undoubtedly blog whether its successful or not.

1 comment:

  1. I tried this from his cook book. Unfortunately there is a typo in the book that had me stir fry the chicken for 8 minutes. Then at the end it said another 8 minutes. I ignored the last 8 minute suggestion but the chicken was still overcooked. I would suggest 3 minutes to start and 1 minute at the end after adding spices.