One of my favorite Thai foods is this saucy, spicy dish that is cooled down with a truckload of fresh basil. Every time we order Thai take-out Nick and I get an order of the Chicken Kra Prao and an order of Drunken Noodles (recipe to come later... I'm still working on that one!). Chicken Kra Prao is generally served along side a bowl of steaming white rice but you can pour the whole thing on top of noodles and have something equally as yummy if noodles are more your style.
If you have never had the pleasure of ordering Chicken Kra Prao I can almost guarantee you will like it. It is a dish that is super easy to modify to your tastes. Like it spicy? Toss in more peppers. Like it sweet? Add another tablespoon of brown sugar. Prefer it extra savory? Another dash of fish sauce! Ah yes, the fish sauce. That is, by far, the hardest part to track down. I was able to find it at my local grocery store but it may take a bit of hunting around to find. I found it in the Asian food section well hidden behind some soy sauce. Tracking down the fish sauce, however, is the hardest part of this preparation. Just chop a few veggies and some chicken and toss them in a pan then... it's dinner! :)
Chicken Kra Prao Recipe
yields 4 servings
1.5 lbs chicken breasts, cleaned and trimmed
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
1-2 Serrano peppers, chopped (use just 1 and remove the seeds if you don't like it too spicy)
1 red pepper, sliced
6 T. fish sauce
2 T. lime juice (about 1 lime)
3 T. brown sugar
1 cup chopped basil
1 T. olive oil
1 cup white rice (I suggest basmati)
1) Thinly slice the chicken breasts into small strips (about 1 inch long). Chop the shallots, garlic and Serrano peppers (remove the seeds if you do not want a spicy dish). Slice the red pepper into strips, removing the ribs and seeds.
2) Prepare the rice as directed on the package. The chicken will take between 20 and 25 minutes to cook so starting the rice now will ensure both are ready at the same time.
3) Heat the olive oil in a skillet or wok over medium high until very hot. Add the garlic, shallots, and both peppers to the oil and saute for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Stir occasionally to ensure they do not burn.
4) Add the chicken to the skillet and saute until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
5) Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar and stir. Allow the sauce to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 10-15 minutes. You can continue to allow this to simmer until it reaches your desired consistency (I like mine thick!).
6) Before serving add the chopped basil to the chicken, stir, and pour the chicken and sauce on top of the rice.
**If you opted to leave in all the seeds to the peppers then serve with lots of water! Or perhaps follow up with a chocolate milk shake (Nick's suggestion!). :)