If flavor-explosion-in-the-mouth were a food group, it would be my favorite. I like dynamics in my food – bitter & sweet (ahem, coffee with cream or raw chocolate milk), spicy and creamy, sweet and tart. This might explain my penchant for Thai food.
The flavors of Thai food are sweet and spicy and sour and pretty much the aforementioned flavor explosion all in one. But I don’t generally keep Thai chiles, limes, and five other ingredients I can’t pronounce in my pantry. I have apple cider vinegar, raw honey, coconut milk, and a few yummy spices. And then I have this Thai basil plant in my garden gifted by the best kind of neighbors – the kind that give you vegetables and herbs when they have too many.
And so, when wanting one of those Thai-inspired dishes, I enlisted that basil plant, a can of coconut milk, and some good chicken to help me out. Flavor explosion minus the fuss? I’m in.
Simple Thai Basil – Coconut Chicken
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or lard for frying (where to find lard from foraged hogs and good coconut oil)
- 1 lb. chicken, bone and skin removed
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (where to buy BPA-free coconut milk)
- 2 Tablespoons honey (your honey isn’t honey; where to buy real raw honey)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, lightly packed, plus a few extras for garnish
- salt to taste
- Jasmine rice to serve
- In a medium skillet or saucepan heat coconut oil or lard over medium heat. Cut chicken into 1″ pieces and place in hot pan. Sear for a couple of minutes or until golden brown, turn, and sear the other side.
- Add cayenne, garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and stir into chicken. Pour in coconut milk, honey, and apple cider vinegar and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately five minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat, stir in basil leaves, and season with salt to taste.
- Serve over Jasmine rice, ladling sauce generously. Enjoy.