The annual holiday season brings with it so many fragrant aromas – cookies baking, fresh oranges, cinnamon, nutmeg sprinkled on eggnog, gingerbread, and the wonderful smell of a fresh Christmas tree, to name just a few! The sense of smell is a wonderful gift to us to stimulate our appetites and increase our enjoyment of food.
For those of us with aging taste buds the addition of various spices enhances our eating pleasure. As stated in a previous post “The Spice is Right” certain spices are believed to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, particularly beneficial during the winter months of the year. These health-promoting spices include cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, cumin and turmeric, all of which are in the recipe for Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce that I’d like to share with you in this post.
Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce
Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce is a deliciously fragrant dish! Don’t be put off by the number of spices in this dish – the spices add so much flavor! The first 8 spices are mixed with salt in a small bowl, then sprinkled over chicken cubes and tossed to coat. The chicken is allowed to stand, covered, for 30 minutes or so. Then the chicken pieces are grilled in a skillet or grill pan or outside on the grill when the weather cooperates.
Chopped onions and garlic are cooked in a skillet also. I cooked them in a separate pan from the chicken so I could cook both at the same time but you can saute the onions and garlic first, remove them from a pan, and then cook the chicken if you wish.
The recipe calls for 2 jalapeno peppers which are cooked with the onions and garlic but I omitted them because I don’t care for that much heat personally. The jalapeno peppers are optional so add them if you wish.
The onions and garlic are removed from the skillet and set aside. Coconut milk and cornstarch are combined and poured into the skillet to thicken.
Once the liquid is thickened and bubbly, the chicken, onions with garlic, snipped basil and chopped ginger is added to the skillet.
Cook long enough for everything to be heated through.
The complete recipe for Basil Chicken with Coconut-Curry Sauce that may be printed may be found below:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
- Hot cooked rice
- Optional: 1 small red onion, cut into wedges; fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Cut chicken into 1" pieces. Place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the spices. Sprinkle over the chicken, toss to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. In a large skillet, cook and stir chopped onion, garlic and jalapeno (if using) in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove, reserving drippings in skillet. Add about half of the chicken, cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is tender and no pink remains. Remove chicken from skillet. Stir together coconut milk and cornstarch. Carefully add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add chicken, cooked onion mixture, snipped basil and ginger root to the skillet. Cook and stir about 2 minutes more to heat through. Serve over rice. Garnish with red onion and fresh basil if desired.
So prepare Basil Chicken with Coconut-Curry Sauce soon and inhale the glorious aromas of the many spices!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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