A few days ago, we finally unearthed all of our pots and pans, thank goodness! We had been eating reheated or takeout food for the past two weeks, and I was aching for some real food. Seeing as how we didn't have many ingredients available (the grocery trip was skipped last weekend due to the move), we opted for my absolute favorite easy-to-make dish: Basil Chili Chicken!
This meal is great because it's quick, it's delicious, and it takes very few ingredients. And after a week of work during the day and unpacking at night, I was ready to eat a good meal without putting in much effort!
Basil Chili Chicken
Start with chicken breasts. Since Costco sells gigantic mutant chicken breasts, Chris and I usually split one between the two of us. Slice it up in small thin pieces, and lightly salt and pepper.
Now move on to some garlic. We use anywhere from 2-4 cloves, depending on how big they are. Chop as finely as you desire.
Heat some peanut oil (1-2 tbs) in a wok or other non-stick pan. Toss the chicken and the garlic in. Once both sides of the chicken pieces are white but not yet cooked all the way through, add the two ingredients I am never without in my kitchen:
Hot chili paste and soy sauce.
I'll leave it up to you how much you want to add, but as the title of the dish is Basil Chili Chicken, I would encourage you to make this baby hot! For this meal, with just the one chicken breast, I probably used a teaspoon+ of chili paste, and 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Toss the chicken in the pan a few times, and after about 2 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. This will help cut through the spiciness of the chili paste.
Now, grab your basil.
Oh basil... The smell is intoxicating. It's absolutely imperative with this dish to use fresh basil, because dried basil flakes are useless for anything other than a slow-cooked marinara sauce.
Lightly tear the basil if the leaves are really big, but still leave them in fairly large pieces, as they will wilt.
When the chicken feels like it is just about cooked through, add the basil and toss for another minute to allow the basil to wilt. It won't take long!
And you're done! Prep to table = 20 minutes. And it tastes fantastic!
Serve with rice. Since we split the chicken breast, we also made a couple potstickers to go with, but plenty of nights we just have the chicken over rice.