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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Basil Chicken in a Coconut-Curry Sauce

It's easy to get lost in the sea of recipe sources these days. There are cookbooks, family recipes tucked in a recipe box, magazines, Food Network shows, more magazines… and let's not forget all the other food blogs I have in my Google Reader. Every once in a while I think of those poor cookbooks (collecting dust), hanging around the kitchen, and find it refreshing to crack them open and rediscover the recipes waiting inside.


I recently pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for some inspiration, and found plenty! I kept jumping from one page to the next, finding quite a few recipes to choose from given what ingredients I already had in the house. I was sold on this recipe, however, as soon as I saw the title. First off, it would use some basil that was dying a slow death in my refrigerator (and good basil is a terrible thing to waste). Second, I've been mildly obsessed with curry lately. In the last month, I've probably made five different curry dishes. Two have emerged as our favorites, for different reasons, and this is one of them.

We love this dish because marinating the chicken in the spices allows for a nice punch of flavor. The dish is balanced by the sauce, which uses fresh garlic, onion, and ginger, and has a surprisingly subtle background of basil.

Basil Chicken in a Coconut-Curry Sauce

Basil Chicken in a Coconut-Curry Sauce
Source: Reworded from Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition Cookbook
Yield: Serves 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes



  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk (~14 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cups cooked rice (use brown rice if you are following a clean eating diet)


  1. In a medium bowl combine curry powder, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the chili powder. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add to spice mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow spices to penetrate meat.
  2. Pour oil into a wok or large nonstick skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken to wok. Cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from wok. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. Add onion, jalapeno peppers, and garlic to wok; cook and stir about 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  4. Stir together coconut milk, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Carefully add to onion mixture in wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.
  5. Return chicken to wok. Stir in basil and ginger. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve over hot rice.


kylee said...


Ann said...

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Christina @ Still Lucky said...

Delicious!! I've never made anything with curry before. Can't wait to try it!

jenna@frombostonwithlove said...

Making this tonight for three reasons when I host my ladies:
1) it looks delish
2) dairy free
3) it looks delish!


Jen said...

Looks great. I need to remember to open my cookbooks more often and cook from them!

Unknown said...

I made this tonight and it was great! My husband said it reminded him of his favorite meal from Big Bowl (Asian/Thai chain). I think next time I would add sweet peas. The curry flavor is great but I think it could use a tiny bit of sweetness, and it's a great way to add another vegetable :)

Laura said...

We had this for dinner tonight and loved it! Thanks so much for sharing.