Spicy Basil Chicken

“Guess why!?” the huz instructed me the other night.

“..What?” I asked, distractedly.

“Guess why!?” he repeated, with emphasis.


“CHICKEN THIGH!” the huz cackled.

We are so mature.

This conversation happened on a weeknight after work. The huz was in the kitchen, kindly chopping up one pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for me, while I sat at the dining room table skimming that night’s dinner recipe online. Ahh, just a day in the life of the MegGoesNomNom kitchen.


I’ve become a big fan of boneless skinless chicken thighs! They’re cheap, healthy, juicy, and flavorful. (Kung Pao Chicken Tacos are my favorite use for thighs!)


On this particular evening, I was following Cooking Light’s Spicy Basil Chicken recipe.


I followed the recipe exactly, but with the addition of a couple cups of chopped veggies to the dish, including broccoli, red bell pepper, and mushrooms.


The sauce absolutely makes the dish. It sure smells a bit funny, but that’s the fish sauce. Just try not to smell it, and trust that it WILL taste good!

      • fish sauce
      • soy sauce
      • sugar
      • sambal oelek (chile-garlic paste)
      • water, salt, cornstarch


The final ingredient is the recipe’s namesake: fresh basil.


I suppose this recipe is somewhat Thai? I guess I’ve been on a Thai kick lately.


I served this Spicy Basil Chicken atop cooked white rice, and it was just fantastic! I had pre-cooked my rice the day before, making this recipe a one-pan dinner – my favorite kind!


Spicy Basil Chicken

Recipe lightly adapted from Cooking Light

      • 2 teaspoons canola oil
      • 1/4 cup minced shallots or red onion
      • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
      • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
      • 2 cups chopped veggies (I like bell pepper, broccoli, mushrooms)
      • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
      • 2 teaspoons sugar
      • 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
      • 1 1/4 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
      • 1 teaspoon water
      • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 1/3 cup sliced basil leaves
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 13 minutes or until chicken is done. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add veggies, cooking until crisp-tender. Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil.

Tip: If you add a large volume of veggies, you may wish to prepare extra sauce.

My rating: 7.9/10

3 thoughts on “Spicy Basil Chicken

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