Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry

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What’s spicy, slightly exotic, out of this world tasty, and totally worth dreaming about during the day?

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry. Duh.

Friends, if you like foods with Indian/Asian flavors, you’re going to love this.

I just ate the last of the leftovers and am seriously sad. My yoga pants that I cooked in definitely reek like Indian food. But for this meal, I’m not afraid to be stinky.

Here’s what you need to whip up this goodness:


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  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 lb chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded (if you want to reduce the heat), and minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 ¬†14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • Hot cooked white rice or quinoa
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  1. In a small bowl, mix together all your dry seasonings (salt through turmeric). Set aside.
  2. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces; place in a bowl and sprinkle spice mix all over chicken until well coated. Let the coated chicken sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions. (Jasmine rice recommended)
  4. In a large skillet/pan heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and jalapenos (note: remove seeds and membranes to lessen heat). Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 sec Р1 min longer, stirring around in pan to keep garlic from burning. Remove the onions,  jalapenos, and garlic to a separate bowl and set aside.
  5. Using the same skillet/pan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, and add half of the chicken. Spread the chicken pieces around the pan so that they are not crowded. Brown for a few minutes on each side before flipping/stirring to ensure each side gets a nice golden brown color. When chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, add chicken to bowl with onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Add more olive oil to the pan and repeat this step with the second batch of chicken. Remove from pan and add to bowl of onions/jalapenos/garlic/chicken.
  6. Add half of the can of coconut milk to the pan. Stir around with spoon to deglaze bottom of pan. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with a few teaspoons of coconut milk. Stir until cornstarch dissolves and then pour mixture into the pan with the coconut milk. Stir mixture. It will start to thicken and boil. Add more coconut milk if mixture appears too thick. (Note: I like my sauce to be thick, not soupy, so I tend to use less coconut milk)
  7. Once coconut milk mixture reaches desired thickness, stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken mixture, basil, and ginger. Cook 2 more minutes to allow all flavors to blend. Serve over hot rice or quinoa.

This serves 4. I typically double it and serve the leftovers for dinner the next day since it keeps really well and still taste excellent reheated.

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This recipe definitely requires a good bit of prep work, but it is oh so worth it. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipe.

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