A very easy and quick recipe with all the Thai flavors we love!
Well, in my last post – I’m talking about this coconut sunrise smoothie – I promised you a Thai chicken recipe, where you could use any leftover coconut cream, since the smoothie requires 1/2 a cup of coconut cream to make 2-3 servings. And I always try to keep my promises! 🙂
OK, the thing is, I’ve never been to Thailand. So, even if I’ve eaten in quite a few Thai restaurants, I believe I haven’t tasted true Thailand food. I believe that in order to get the true taste of any ethnic cuisine, you should visit the country and eat food made from local ingredients, and prepared by local people. Hence the title Thai style chicken and not Thai chicken!
Having that said, this dish is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tried! It features all the classic flavors such as lime, basil, coconut, ginger,and scallions and some more I felt the need to add to make it super flavorful, bright and irresistible! In addition, this recipe is cooked in less than 30 minutes and is very easy to make, since it’s prepared in one pan and requires minimum clean up… Oh, and it’s also gluten free!
The first time I made this recipe, I made it because I wanted to use my leftover coconut cream from my coconut sunrise smoothie. After searching online for some Thai chicken recipes and after trying to remember some of the dishes I’d tried in Thai restaurants, I decided to use the basic ingredients I mention in the recipe below. I didn’t add though the chopped onion, cardamom and anise. The result was OK, but nothing special. The second time I made it, I added those three ingredients and WOW!!! It was like a whole different recipe! When I got my nose near the pan and smelled the thick, hot, bubbly sauce, I could tell that it was going to be perfect! All the flavors were so intense but perfectly balanced at the same time, and the only thing I could think at the moment was to quickly make a bowl of perfect fluffy rice to serve with my chicken! 🙂
Trust me; this is a dish you should definitely make! Just don’t omit any of the ingredients, because you’ll probably feel that something is missing…
- A bit of corn flour is used to make the sauce more thick and creamy, but you can skip this if you like your sauce on the thinner side.
- I never buy coconut milk. I always buy coconut cream and if in need for coconut milk I just mix 1/2 cup cream with 1/2 cup water to get 1 cup of coconut milk. It’s also cheaper this way!
- Serve with some fluffy rice, preferably Jasmine or basmati.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 skinless and boneless chicken breast (2 halves), cut in one inch cubes
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ lime, juice and zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions (or chives)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut cream (you can increase this up to 1½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon ground star anise
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons corn starch (optional)
- 3 tablespoons cold water (optional)
- Pink pepper for garnish (optional)
- Heat a big skillet and add the oil and the chicken cubes.
- Let the chicken cubes brown from one side on high heat, about 6-7 minutes.
- Turn them to cook from the other side about 5-6 minutes more, transfer in a bowl and keep warm.
- In the same skillet, add the onion, bay leaves, scallions, cashews and a little extra oil if necessary.
- Reduce to medium high heat and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a jug or bowl, mix the cold water and corn flour until dissolved (this step is optional. You should do this if you want the cream on thick side). Add the coconut cream, lime juice and zest, ginger, basil, soya, sugar, anise, cardamom, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet, add the coconut cream mixture and cook stirring constantly for 5-10 minutes until thickened.
- Serve with some rice or noodles.
- Sprinkle with some crashed pink pepper corns (optional)