Holy Basil Chicken

I first saw a recipe for Thai Holy Basil Chicken on  Jess’ site, Inquiring Chef.    I was intrigued.   I love basil but had never heard of Holy Basil.

I began my quest at that time to find Holy Basil.   I couldn’t find seeds or plants anywhere.


Then, we traveled to the Houston area during Memorial Day Weekend and I found one!    Score!


The Holy Basil is in the foreground. Behind it is a lettuce leaf basil and a variegated basil.    Lettuce leaf basil is delicious on BLTs!     The variegated kind is awesome for pesto.

I was now ready to make Holy Basil Chicken or Kai Pad Bai Gra Prou.

I had pinned Jess’ recipe long ago but in my new quest to utilize my cookbooks, I decided to pull down one my mom got me for Christmas one year.   (Actually, I didn’t have to pull it down; it was in a stack of coffee table books on our floor. )   Asia:  The Beautiful Cookbook has hardly ever been cracked open.   Now was the time.   (I actually made Holy Basil Chicken before I posted my  Yakitori recipe from this same book.)

In the Thailand section I found an authentic recipe for Kai Pad Bai Gra Prou (or Chicken with Basil and Chili).   It was a little too authentic for me and called for chicken giblets.   I don’t do liver and I don’t do giblets.

Here is my rendition.

Holy Basil Chicken
Based on Kai Pad Bai Gra Prou from Asia:  The Beautiful Cookbook

1 lb. chicken breasts
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, deseeded and minced
1 green onion, sliced thin
1/4 c. chicken stock
1 T. fish sauce
1 t. low sodium soy suace
1 t. sugar
1 c. basil, choppedl (I used a mixture of Holy Thai basil, lettuce leaf basil and pistou basil.)

Chop chicken fine (almost to  a fine, ground-like quality).

Heat oil in a wok.   When it is almost smoking, add chicken and garlic.   Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add serrano and onion and saute for one minute more.

Mix together the stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.   Add to wok and stir for about 1 minute.   Add basil and and cook for one more minute.


Ready to serve

I served this with coconut rice.   Jess, thanks for the inspiration to make this dish and procure some Holy Basil.


Please remember Abby today in your thoughts.


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Abby, the bee balm just started blooming in the garden (amongst all the Bermuda grass! ) I haven’t seen any butterflies or bees on it yet.

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