Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Tacos

Thai Chicken TacosWhy Thai

Rachel and I both started small container gardening this year. Both of us had limited success.  One thing that did grow well for both of us was basil.  We figures why not do a basil ingredient challenge as we both already had it on hand. I grew three types of basil, but my Thai sweet basil grew the largest by far. Although traditionally Spicy Thai Basil chicken is made with Thai holy basil, the Thai sweet basil works just fine, or you could even even use regular basil if that is all you can get your hands on.

Tasty Tacos

Traditionally this dish is served with rice, but I wanted to go in another direction.  Originally I thought about making this in to a noodle dish, but eventually settled on the what I believe to be the most universal of all dishes, the taco. In my opinion tacos are really the words greatest food. There really isn’t anything you can’t throw in a tortilla for a quick meal making is a great vehicle for my spicy Thai basil chicken.

Spicy Chicken

While the recipe calls Thai chilies, you can definitely substitute other chilies like serranos or jalapenos if that is what you have or leave the chilies out all together if you are not a fan of spicy food. Pro tip: if you want to cut the spice level of a chili pepper remove the ribs and seeds. Also, don’t forget to wear disposable gloves so your hands and eyes don’t burn.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s Bail recipe: Tornado Potatoes with Spicy Basil Oil

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Spicy Thai Chicken Tacos
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Tacos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
 

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Tacos - A delicious fusion of a Thai classic and a Mexican favorite. Your taco Tuesday will never be the same.

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Mexican, Thai
Keyword: Basil, Chicken, Tacos, Thai
Servings: 6 Tacos
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 2 Boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 Dried Thai Chilies Stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil For frying
  • 1 Large White Onion Sliced thin
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper Sliced thin
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper Sliced thin
  • 1 Cup Basic Brown Sauce See recipe below
  • 12 Thai Basil Leaves
  • 6 Fresh Thai Chilies Stems removed
  • 6 Small Corn Tortillas
Instructions
  1. Grind the garlic and dried chilies in to paste and set it aside. Ideally use a mortar and pestle for this, but you a food processor, blender, or even a knife will do in a pinch.

  2. Roughly chop the the chicken in to the size of small pebbles. Don't chop it so fine that is like ground chicken as the texture makes a difference.

  3. Add the oil to the wok (or a large skillet) and place over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and chili garlic paste. Cook, stirring continuously, until the chicken starts to brown.

  4. Remove chicken to a bowl, and add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring continuously until the onions starts to brown.

  5. Lower the heat and add the chicken back to the wok along with the brown sauce. Continue to cook until the sauce is slightly thickened.

  6. Add the basil and the fresh chilies and continue to cook until the chilies begin to soften and the basil is wilted.

  7. Toast the tortillas in a dry frying pan or under a broiler until they begin to brown. Top the tortillas with the chicken and vegetable mixture and enjoy.

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Spicy Thai Chicken Tacos
Basic Chinese Brown Sauce
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
 

A classic Chinese sauce (at least in America)

Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Brown Sauce
Servings: 4 Cups
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth Homemade would be ideal but store bought will work
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger Grated
  • 1/4 Cup "Oyster" sauce See recipe below
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the corn starch and the water. Stir until fully combined to create a slurry.

  2. Add all the rest of ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn starch and water slurry and stir to combine thoroughly.

  3. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to cook until reduced by 25%.

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Spicy Thai Chicken Tacos
"Oyster" Sauce
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
3 mins
Total Time
4 mins
 

Oyster sauce is a thick sweet brown sauce that will add some caramel notes to any dish. It is usually made by reducing the liquid from oysters, I use oyster mushrooms to preserve the moniker and give the dish an umami boost.

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Oyster Sauce
Servings: 1 Cup
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients except the corn starch and water to a small sauce pot over low heat,stirring constantly. 

  2. Mix the corn starch and water in a separate bowl to form a slurry.  Once the sauce begins to bubble stir in the corn starch slurry and cook until the sauce is thickened and remove from heat.

Recipe Notes

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Blistered Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing

Hooray for easy #quarantine recipes!

Here’s the scoop. Since we’re all continuing to spend more time at home, I think we’re all looking for easy meals to make, especially while some of you are juggling Zoom meetings, screaming kids and perhaps trying to stay sane. Well, today, I’m giving you an incredibly easy (under 20 min) that is a healthy side dish for Shabbat or any day of the week. This Blistered Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing is just what the doctor ordered. Well, you know what I mean. 🙂

The trick to making this dish is to get your pan screaming hot. And once you add in the green beans and tomatoes, don’t move them around just yet. Wait a few minutes for them to get a little charred and blistered and the tomatoes have started bursting. I added pomegranate vinegar for a hint of sweetness (you can find it at Trader Joe’s – here’s hoping they still have it)! But fear not, you can use apple cider vinegar, or rice wine vinegar would be delicious too. Then add in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and a BIG squeeze of lemon. Because as we know, everything is better with a squeeze of lemon.

Have more time on your hands? Add in some roasted garlic to the dressing instead of raw garlic. This will bring an additional sweetness and mellow out the garlic a bit.

My Holy Grail Dressing

Full disclosure about this dressing. I can eat it on EVERYTHING. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but this dressing is so versatile! It’s great as a salad dressing, a dip for veggies or tortilla chips, would be perfect for a summer pasta salad, or you can even slather it on chicken or salmon before roasting in the oven, since it’s dairy-free! I also like to make this dressing base and add in other herbs like dill and parsley for a homemade ranch dressing. My husband will typically find me dipping practically anything I can find in our fridge, into this dressing. And he might also find me licking my bowl clean (#sorrynotsorry).

Remember when I said this dish was so quick, it can be made in under 20 minutes? While the green beans and tomatoes are getting charred in the pan, this is your chance to make the dressing. Can we say #multitasking? It truly takes about 5 minute and some of the ingredients like lemon, salt and pepper are used for both ingredients, so less trips to the fridge.

That’s it, folks. Easy, yet impressive-looking side dish that you might want to serve for this upcoming Shabbat lunch, or for your next picnic (only if you’re social distancing, that is). It also holds well in the fridge the next day, though the beans won’t be crispy, but I think this side is perfect served warm, room temp or cold.

Enjoy making this Blistered Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing – and hope ya’ll are staying safe!

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Blistered Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
 
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
Blistered Green Bean & Tomato Salad
  • 1/2 lbs. Green Beans, trimmed
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Vinegar Or use apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Lemon
Basil Garlic Dressing
  • 2 Eggs, organic and pasture raised
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Fresh basil, rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Truffle and parsley seasoning Totally optional but it's SO good in this dressing!
  • 1 cup Avocado oil Or use another neutral-flavored oil, such as light olive oil, or if you're keto, use MCT oil!
  • 1/2 Lemon Use the other half of the lemon you cut for the green beans
Instructions
Blistered Green Beans & Tomatoes
  1. Pre-heat a large skillet until it's screaming hot

  2. Add in the olive oil, green beans and tomatoes and DO not move for a few minutes until the veggies are starting to blister and tomatoes are starting to burst

  3. Mix the veggies until all are getting equal heat, another 10 minutes until slightly charred

  4. Add in the vinegar and salt, pepper

  5. Finish with a squeeze of lemon

  6. While beans are cooling slightly, make the dressing

Basil Garlic Dressing
  1. In the jar of an immersion blender, add the eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, truffle seasoning, basil and oil

  2. Place the immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the jar and start blending, without moving the blender

  3. Once the mixture starts to emulsify, after about 10-15 seconds, slowly move the blender up to the middle and top of the blender cup, making sure all of the oil is incorporated

  4. Blend for another 20-30 seconds until it's thickened and it look like mayo!

  5. Plate the green beans and tomatoes in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the dressing (to start, you can always add more, but you don't want the dressing to drown the green beans)

  6. Plate the side dish on a large serving platter and squeeze some more lemon, if you'd like

  7. This dish is great served warm, room temp or even cold!

 

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