Garlic Lovers Thai Basil Chicken
Learn how to make a restaurant-style Thai basil chicken! This is the perfect weeknight dinner to throw together. Make it with diced chicken breast or ground chicken. So good you’ll want to make it every week!
Anyone else feeling the Monday blues today?
I’ve got to admit, Mondays are the hardest days for me to cook. I’m just unwinding from the crazy weekend schedule. Our refrigerator usually only consists of the very basic staples at that point. You know, eggs, milk, a hunk of bread, that sort of thing. I’ll be the first one to tell you I don’t have my life together enough to shop on Saturdays or even Sundays. Those days are spent living life, running other errands and stopping to catch my breath if the time permits.
So Mondays are the days when I’m playing catch up. Put a list together for groceries. Clean out the refrigerator and schedule things that need to get done. So needless to say, I like to keep Monday night dinners on the simple side because after I’ve made it through the day, I want to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen possible.
Enter our recipe for the day: Thai basil chicken.
You’ve had Thai basil chicken before, right?
It’s one of my favorite things to order at a Thai restaurant, right after pad kee mao (or drunken noodles.) What I didn’t know until recently is how easy it is to make Thai basil chicken at home.
You’re looking at a few key ingredients and here’s the best part – roughly 15 minutes of hands-on time to get this meal on the table. Dare I say today’s Thai basil chicken will give your local Thai restaurant a run for their money?
This is the real thing.
There are so many reasons I love this recipe.
Starting with the fact that it’s LOADED with garlic. As in, if do a quick google search for ‘Thai basil chicken’ and look at a few recipes, you’re going to think there’s a typo with the number of garlic cloves I’m using. I assure you, this isn’t the case. That double-digit number is indeed correct. I’m using that much garlic, and my husband couldn’t be happier. In addition to that –> this is mostly healthy, loaded with protein recipe that’s pretty simple to toss together.
When you order Thai basil chicken at your favorite Thai restaurant, I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s usually super small pieces of chicken that almost resemble ground meat. Most places chop up there own chicken breasts (the way you see that I’ve done) but I also want to mention that you can replace it with equal parts store-bought ground chicken. This will save you the trouble of cleaning another cutting board and chopping the chicken up.
I want to make your Monday night dinner a breeze.
What you need to make Thai Basil Chicken:
In addition to the chopped chicken, you’ll need a few other key ingredients:
- Holy basil or Thai basil: holy basil is what’s traditionally used, but it can be super challenging to find. You can also use Thai basil or your regular grocery store variety if you can’t find either of the other kinds.
- golden mountain sauce (affiliate link)
- low sodium soy sauce (affiliate link)
- oyster sauce (affiliate link)
- fish sauce (affiliate link)
- Birds eye chiles: these can also be difficult to find. I’ve used Fresno chilies with a couple pinches of red pepper flakes in the past with tons of success so don’t fret if you can’t get your hands of birds eye chilies!
Let’s put this Thai Basil Chicken together:
If you decide to go with the ground chicken, it’s just three steps.
- Prep the garlic and peppers: mash the garlic and peppers together in a mortar and pestle, or you can toss it into a spice grinder or a small food processor.
- Make the sauce: Add the fish, oyster, soy, and golden mountain sauce together with a hint of sugar, black pepper, and a few tablespoons of water.
- Cook it: saute the garlic and peppers in a little oil with the shallots. Add the chicken and cook it almost all the way through. Stir in the sauce and the basil. Serve it over jasmine rice and EAT!
I should mention that Thai basil chicken is great to meal prep for the week as the flavors will intensify as this sits and taste better with time! I like to use these containers (affiliate link) for meal prepping.
Hope you’ll toss my Thai basil chicken together for dinner one night this week!
Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry:
- 1 ½ pound chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces (see notes)
- 12 cloves garlic
- 4-12 birds eye chilies (see notes)
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cups holy basil
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons golden mountain sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- PULSE: add the garlic cloves and the bird's eye chilies to a mortar and pestle and break them down. Alternately, you can do this in a small spice grinder or a food processor; set aside.
- SAUCE: Mix the ingredients for the sauce along with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl, set aside.
- BASIL CHICKEN: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the chili and garlic along with the minced shallot for roughly 1 minute or until fragrant, then, add the chicken. Crumble the chicken using a wooden spoon the way you’d crumble ground beef and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Drizzle in the prepared sauce and stir to combine. When the chicken is done, stir in the basil and let it cook for 1 minute or until it *just* starts to wilt. Turn off the heat at that point and serve warm over a bed of jasmine rice topped with sesame seeds!
- Thai chilies are hot! If you want to make this mild, use roughly 4 bird's eye chilies. 12 chilies will make this what restaurants say to be Thai hot. We used 6 peppers and it was just right for our taste buds. You can replace the bird's eye chilies with 2 Fresno chilies if you want it to be super mild. Unfortunately, peppers are critical ingredients in this recipe so you can't just omit them.
- You can use ground chicken or chop up your own chicken. I usually just mince up the chicken breasts into 1/4- 1/2 inch pieces here.