Basil Chicken

The basil smelled really good at the farmers’ market on Sunday, so we picked some up with the plan of making basil chicken (I totally forgot that Rebecca is growing a huge pot of basil on her back porch). This recipe comes from Rachael Ray with a few minor tweaks (e.g., she uses twice as much crushed red pepper).


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion, plus 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves


  1. In a small bowl, combine water,  fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Stir to dissolve the sugar; set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then the sliced and chopped onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant and softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat for about 1 minute. Working in 2 batches if necessary, spread the chicken in a single layer in the pan without crowding and cook, undisturbed, until the edges change color, about 1 minute. Turn and continue cooking, tossing now and then, until lightly browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved sauce and onion mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and evenly coated, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, tossing until slightly wilted.
  6. Serve the chicken over rice or noodles.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting! I look forward to making this one.

  2. This recipe ROCKED. Thanks, Renae (and Rachael Ray)! The flavor was delicious. We did up the red pepper a wee bit and I probably didn’t add enough garlic because I got tired of all the labor involved. Watching Liv taste fish sauce, not once but twice, was the highlight of Basil Chicken. Well, that and actually eating it. Yum.

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