Creamy Garlic Basil Chicken and Asparagus

IMG_3018IMG_3012

Creamy Garlic Basil Chicken and Asparagus
slightly adapted from Diethood

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil

For the sauce:

  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends snapped off, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Method

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon dried basil. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Flip the chicken and cook for about 8 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

Combine evaporated milk, flour, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until well combined.

Add the prepared sauce to the hot skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in prepared asparagus, place the chicken back in the pan, and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and chicken is heated through.

Remove from heat. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

NOTES

HOLY MOLY THIS WAS GOOD. Almost unexpectedly so. This is immediately going on the menu again for next week. And every spring/asparagus season forever and ever amen.

Pad Kee Mao Gai

IMG_8241

IMG_8247

Pad Kee Mao Gai
(Drunken Noodles with Chicken)

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped Thai bird’s eye chiles
1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into strips or small chunks
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup black soy sauce
1/4 cup Golden Mountain sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 bunch fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
32 ounces fresh wide rice noodles

Method

Heat oil in wok over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add garlic, onion and Thai chiles. Stir fry until golden, no more than a minute.

Add chicken, fish sauce, black soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce and palm sugar (note: it will seem very saucy; don’t worry, the noodles will soak it all up later). Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add red and yellow bell peppers. Continue stir frying for 2 to 3 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.

Turn off heat, add basil and stir until just wilted. Add the rice noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately.

NOTES

This recipe. This was one of the top recipes of all time when I was over on Blogger as Alosha’s Kitchen. When I posted it nearly seven years ago, I had this to say:

Oh man, it was awesome. No pretense here, no beating around the bush. This kicked ass. One bite and I was jumping for joy. I just couldn’t believe it: my pad kee mao tasted like pad kee mao!

And as far as I remember, it did. But I also remember I wasn’t very good at working with the rice noodles. So after making this all of once, I never went back to it again. I actually transformed the recipe into a stir fry over rice and let this recipe lie.

Until last night. The bag of fresh rice noodles went in the microwave… and then I spent maybe a mere 15 minutes pulling them apart one by one. Huh. Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I thought. Or maybe my cooking skills have just gotten so much better in the last 7 years, everything feels easier than it used to. I’m going with the latter.

Either way, this recipe is not going back into obscurity. It was SO. Damn. Good. Not only does it taste like restaurant Pad Kee Mao, it tastes like Thai Nakorn‘s Pad Kee Mao. And for me and Steve, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Actually, success with this recipe means that I now have three out of our five favorite Thai Nakorn dishes – Pad Kee Mao Gai, Tom Kha Gai, and Panang Curry with Beef – down pat. Now if I could just nail down Beef Basil and Satay, we’d be all set. (Already working on it!)

Chicken Chow Mein

img_7180

img_7175Chicken Chow Mein
courtesy of recipetin eats
serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz chow mein noodles (I HIGHLY recommend these;  you can also buy them at Target or on Amazon)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups green cabbage (savoy/green), finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2″ pieces, whites and green separated
  • 4 eggs, scrambled, cooked in a single layer, cut into bite-sized pieces (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Chow Mein Sauce (recipe below)

Chow Mein Sauce

  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (ordinary all purpose soy sauce OR light soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (or sherry)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • White pepper

Method

Combine chicken and baking soda in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate, then rinse chicken well and pat dry.

In the meantime, make the Chow Mein Sauce: mix together cornstarch and soy sauce, then mix in remaining ingredients. Pour 2 tbsp of Chow Mein Sauce over the chicken and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Heat oil in wok or large fry pan over high heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown and you can smell the garlic in the oil. Add chicken and stir fry until the skin is white but the inside is still raw – about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrot, and the white pieces of scallions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage is just starting to wilt and the chicken is cooked through.

Add the noodles, Chow Mein Sauce, and water. Stir fry for 1 minute, tossing to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add bean sprouts, remaining scallions, and eggs. Stir through quickly then remove from heat. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Nothing to say except that this was perfect, savory, Chinese noodly goodness. 10/10 will make again. Often.

Note about the eggs: I am terrible awful not good at doing the scrambled eggs in the wok thing. If you would rather do it that way, just add them after the cabbage and chicken are cooked: make a well in the pan, pour in the eggs, scramble, let cook fully, toss with other ingredients, and continue on with the recipe. Or, you can omit them altogether.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

img_6365img_6368

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz short pasta (penne, rotini, ziti)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook and brown for 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is soft and chicken is nearly cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the pasta, wine, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs; set aside.

When the pasta is tender, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then the parmesan and bread crumb mixture.

Broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve.

NOTES

I’ve been wanting to do a dish like this for a long time. I absolutely love my pan-fried-then-oven version of chicken parm with spaghetti, but that’s more of a weekend endeavor. This skillet is perfect for a weeknight when I am craving the flavors, but don’t want to make a ton of effort. Absolutely fantastic.

Szechuan Chicken and Snap Peas

img_2542img_2544

Szechuan Chicken and Snap Peas
courtesy of the book Good Fast Eats from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. snap peas
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8-oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • cooked white rice, for serving

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, honey, and chili garlic sauce, Set aside.

Heat oil in large wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add ground chicken, cook until browned and no pink remains, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in snap peas, onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in the rice wine vinegar; when it is mostly evaporated, give the soy sauce mixture a stir and add it to the pan, along with the water chestnuts. Sauté for another 3-4 more minute. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Serve over cooked white rice.

NOTES

Gotta admit – I knew this one would be good, but I did not expect it would become one of my new favorite stir fry dishes. SO GOOD! For all its simplicity, it is just packed with flavor – and, bonus, it comes together lightning quick. Going to blast this one on repeat on my weekly menu for a while!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

img_2524
img_2523

Sweet and Sour Chicken
courtesy of Good Fast Eats from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1-1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 (8-oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cooked white rice, for serving

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch and water, until combined. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and reserved pineapple juice.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Toss the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, and season with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook without stirring for 2-3 minutes. Mix and continue to sauté for another 6-7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and onion to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes until vegetables soften and get a bit charred. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the sweet and sour mixture, along with the pineapple chunks. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to warm through and allow sauce to thicken. Add chicken back to skillet and stir to combine.

Serve over cooked white rice.

NOTES

I cannot remember how many years it’s been since I had takeout sweet and sour – mostly because it was usually so greasy and goopy that it no longer had any appeal.

But THIS one. This is way, way better – light and fresh, easy, delicious. Big thanks to Belly Full for making me remember why I loved this dish in the first place.

One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta

 

img_2906img_2902

One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
slightly adapted from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes with herbs, julienne cut, in oil, drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or sub 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Method

Heat oil over medium-high in a very large skillet with a lid. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened. Raise heat to high; add in white wine and allow to reduce by half. Pour in broth; bring to a boil.

Stir in the pasta, cover, and cook for about 9 minutes, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.

Uncover and mix in chicken, sun dried tomatoes, and lemon zest. Season with the red pepper flakes and a few grinds of salt and black pepper, to taste. Add in cream and warm through. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley.

Serve immediately.

NOTES

This was AMAZING. Pictures do not do it justice. Nothing I could say about it could do it justice. All I will say is that of the 29 recipes I have posted so far this year, this might top the list as my new favorite of 2016. Go. Make. This.