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Orange-Basil Chicken with Creamy Coconut Rice

Orange zest and juice combine with lots of fragrant, fresh basil to flavor this Thai-inspired chicken stir-fry. As with most stir-fried dishes, it's very quick to make once you have your prep work done. Serve with Creamy Coconut Rice (recipe follows) and our Sweet-Hot Thai-Style Cucumber Salad for a complete meal.

Orange-Basil Chicken with Creamy Coconut Rice

Orange-Basil Chicken with Creamy Coconut Rice

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken (breast, tenderloin or thighs)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (see notes)
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili sauce (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed (use Thai basil if possible)
  • Strips of orange peel for garnish

Preparation:
Whisk the fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch together in a medium bowl. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the cornstarch mixture. Toss to coat and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, hoisin sauce and Thai chili sauce and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or very large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the green onions and stir-fry for an additional 30 seconds.

Stir in the orange juice-hoisin mixture and orange zest and cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Quickly add the cornstarch-water mixture and cook for an additional 30 seconds to thicken the sauce. Stir in the basil leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve over Creamy Coconut Rice (recipe follows) and garnish with strips of orange peel and additional basil.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
Both fish sauce and Thai chili sauce are readily available in the ethnic foods aisle of most grocery stores. Keep some on hand for making Thai and Vietnamese-inspired dishes. Even if you don't use them often, they keep for months in the fridge.

Creamy Coconut Rice
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked Thai jasmine rice
  • 1-1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

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