Tag Archives: chicken

Thai-style Chicken with Basil

Thai-style Chicken with Basil

I’m working on my spice tolerance and this is one of those dishes that helps me with it. If I make it too spicy, I’ll chug a beer down with it, but that won’t stop me from continuing to eat it. It’s that good.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated. They say that they’ve kept this version relatively mild, but I find it too spicy to use all the chiles. I should also mention that I find some types of gum too spicy to handle so take that into consideration when making this dish.


2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 green or red Thai chiles , stemmed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast , cut into 2-inch pieces
3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Process 1 cup basil leaves, garlic, and chiles in food processor until finely chopped, 6 to 10 one-second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing. Transfer 1 tablespoon basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, and sugar; set aside. Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet. Do not wash food processor bowl.

2. Pulse chicken and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into -approximate 1/4-inch pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.

3. Stir shallots and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat (mixture should start to sizzle after about 11/2 minutes; if it doesn’t, adjust heat accordingly), stirring constantly, until garlic and shallots are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken with potato masher or rubber spatula, until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds.

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Quick and Easy Indian Cooking: Review

Silken Chicken

Only recently I’ve become a fan of Indian food. Because everything is so spicy, it was hard for me to like it. Most of it is still spicy, but I tolerate my face being flush and “glowy”. A lot of Indian recipes are very time consuming with many spices so I bought Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.

The recipes are very straight-forward, but you will still need a variety of spices to make a lot of dishes in this book.

Silken Chicken is a favourite of mine, it’s moist and flavourful and the only thing that takes time is the time it takes the oven to preheat.

You can try the recipe here.

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No Time to Cook: Review

If there was one cookbook where I’d want to try all the recipes out of, this is the cookbook I would choose. Donna Hay’s No Time to Cook is such a great book that it’s a shame it’s not being sold on amazon.com.

I’ve made about a dozen things out of this book and I like how all the recipes have pictures so you know what to expect. The recipes are no fuss and many of them can be done quickly. Those that have longer cooking times have minimal hands on time.

Some favourites have been the balsamic chicken stack, the curry-crusted chicken is in regular rotation, and her marinades and sauces are a breeze to make and so versatile.

I find that I have to do a bit of adjustments with her recipes because she’ll call for too much of something that completely overwhelms the dish. An example is the squashed tomatoes and spaghetti that called for way too many tomatoes. It was easy to see that it was too much and it’s hardly an issue to not make that dish again. The final dish was excellent.

I made the Crunchy Parmesan-Crumbed Chicken with good results. The ingredient list is 6 items (including pepper) and was really easy to throw together. In the recipe, you make a large batch of breadcrumbs that you can portion off and freeze for future use.

Crunchy Parmesan-Crumbed Chicken

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Curry Glazed Chicken

Curry Glazed Chicken

Apparently it’s National Curried Chicken Day so here is an oldie but a goodie for me, this dish is simple and easy — perfect for a beginner.

This is from Clueless in the Kitchen, something I picked up almost 10 years ago and I’m pretty sure I only bought it because of the title. There aren’t any pictures, just a few diagrams, but the text is straightforward. This honey glazed curry chicken isn’t too spicy for the intrepid, it’s subtle and sweet. Considering how many meals I’ve only made once and never went back to, I do like making this on occasion.

Curry Glazed Chicken adapted from Clueless in the Kitchen
Serves 2

1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 Cup honey
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons curry powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 pound chicken*

*for me, this varies. I’ve used boneless skinless thighs and breasts. Sometimes whole, sometimes cut up into pieces so they get more sauce on it. The original calls for a 3 pound chicken cut up into pieces, but I like having extra sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Put butter into a 8 x 8 baking dish (9×13 if using the original 3 pound chicken) and pop it in the oven to melt. Once melted, stir in the honey, mustard, curry, and salt. Add the chicken and make sure they are well coated.

Bake for 45 minutes (this can vary depending on the chicken you’ve chosen, boneless chicken breasts that are cut up will cook up quicker, so check in on it a little earlier).

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The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: Review

While my cookbook collection isn’t as big as others, it is pretty darn big. What started out as 2 very basic (how to make a grilled cheese sandwich anyone?) cookbooks to help me not eat frozen dinners twice a day has grown to about 50 cookbooks. With that many cookbooks I could review one a week for almost the whole year. It’d also force me to try out more recipes and review ones that I made a long time ago.

First book is Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. I first came across her site looking for a fish recipe. Since then I’ve made her German oven pancakes and her baby back ribs with orange glaze and have many more recipes bookmarked. So when her cookbook came out I was very excited to get it.

The book is in-depth going into tools, ingredient, and basic recipes for sauces, stock, and salts. If you’re a visual learner, there are pictures for almost every single recipe in the book. It’s always nice to know if the dish you made looks similar to the one in the book. For some of the recipes how to photos are provided in case you don’t know how to make rolls or wrap wontons. And the photos? Jaden has done a fabulous job of food styling and photographing the dishes. Stunning!

Recipes are simple and quick to make. I’ve started to make my way through the book and have made the Pad Thai, Garlic Butter Noodles, and Quick Omelette with Shrimp and Peas all with excellent results. There’s many more I’d like to try.

One of my favourites in the book (so far) is the Baked Crispy Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki Sauce. It is crazy delicious and so simple to make. The temperature of the oven needs to be at 475F. My oven runs a lot cooler on higher temperatures so my oven thermometer was a big help. The timing was perfect and the chicken came out incredibly moist.

You must try this recipe.

Baked crispy chicken with citrus teriyaki sauce

Baked Crispy Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki Sauce (reprinted with permission from Jaden Hair)
Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal

1/2 cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup (120 g) panko breadcrumbs
1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray

Citrus Teriyaki Dipping Sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons mirin

1. In a saucepot, bring all ingredients for the Citrus Teriyaki Dipping Sauce to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 6 minutes until slightly thickened.
2. Preheat the oven to 475F(245C).
3. Line up 3 shallow bowls. Put the flour in the first bowl, the eggs in the second (and beat with fork), and the panko in the third bowl. Also have nearby a sheet pan with a baking rack placed in it (Note: I used a broiler pan that worked fine)
4. Pound each chicken breast to 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6mm-12mm) thickness. Season each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
5. You’ll work with one piece of chicken at a time. Lightly dredge a piece in the flour on both sides. Then dip in the beaten eggs, making sure that you coat the entire piece. Then, pat in the panko, pressing gently to adhere the crumbs. While the chicken is still in the shallow bowl with the panko, spray the topside with cooking spray. Place the chicken piece onto the baking rack with the side you’ve just sprayed facing down. Then spray the other side with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into several pieces. To serve, lay a bed of shredded lettuce on a plate, top with the sliced chicken pieces and serve with the Citrus Teriyaki Dipping Sauce.

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