Recipe updated February 26, 2013.
This basil coconut chicken curry recipe is adapted from a recipe from my friend Heidi H. It’s fairly easy to pull together, and tasty (no leftovers!). Use chicken thigh meat instead of breast meat for a richer chicken flavor.
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe
We use chicken thigh meat because of the deeper flavor, but you can use chicken breast meat if that is your preference. This is a mild curry. You can increase the heat with more cayenne. Also jalapeños vary greatly in heat. Check the spiciness of your jalapeños and adjust the recipe to taste.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- A small pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, sliced root to tip
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil, vegetable oil or Indian ghee
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp lime juice, or to taste
- 12-20 fresh basil leaves, torn roughly
- Hot cooked rice for serving
1 In a small bowl, mix together the salt, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground cardamom, black pepper, cayenne and turmeric. Set aside.
2 In a wok or deep sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. The moment the oil begins to smoke, add the onions and jalapeños and toss to coat in oil. Sear the vegetables for 3 minutes, stirring only enough to keep them from burning, but still allowing the onions to sear.
3 Add the ginger, garlic and spice mixture and toss to combine, cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and chicken. Stir the mixture so that the chicken pieces are coated in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
4 When the chicken is tender, turn off the heat and add the basil and lime juice. Add more lime juice and salt to taste and serve over rice.
Yield: Serves 4.