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Published: Sunday, 8/24/2014

Ground chicken makes basil dish easy to try at home

Inspired by restaurant versions, this Spicy Basil Chicken can be prepared at home. Inspired by restaurant versions, this Spicy Basil Chicken can be prepared at home.

So much of my creativity in the kitchen comes from trying to duplicate the amazing flavors I taste in my favorite restaurants. I have enjoyed Spicy Basil Chicken in restaurants across the country. But the extra-tender slivers of chicken, delicately cooked to perfection, are something I can’t replicate at home. It takes super-high heat, seasoned woks, and exhaust fans on commercial settings to pull off the “in and out of the pan” cooking method that keeps the chicken so tender and moist.

Then recently, I had Spicy Basil Chicken with ground chicken. Suddenly, my regular kitchen heat, standard pans, and exhaust system were no longer a roadblock to this wonderful stir-fry dish being served at home. Using ground chicken means the meat will be tender, even if cooked slower and on lower heat. No, it’s not truly authentic, so it’s OK to use regular basil if you can’t find Thai basil in your area. But the flavor is everything you crave and the ease is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner at home.

Suggested Menu

Spicy Basil Chicken

Steamed jasmine rice

Seasonal melon slices

Spicy Basil Chicken

Start to finish: less than 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 teaspoons peanut oil

1 pound ground chicken

1 (8-ounce) package sliced button mushrooms, coarsely chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

½ cup fresh basil leaves (sweet basil or Thai basil), sliced in thin ribbons

½ cup green onions, sliced

1 medium-size hot red pepper, seeded and chopped

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1½ tablespoons fish sauce

½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or more to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Hot steamed rice, for serving if desired

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken and mushrooms; stir and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Break up chicken into small pieces as you stir.

Add the garlic, basil, green onions, and red pepper. Toss to mix well and wilt basil, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, Sriracha sauce, and cornstarch, and whisk well. Add to skillet and stir and cook until sauce thickens slightly. Adjust seasoning with additional Sriracha sauce, if necessary. Serve immediately over hot steamed rice, if desired.

Approximate values per serving (not including rice): 283 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 101 mg cholesterol, 36 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 985 mg sodium.

Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/​o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.

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