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Thai-Style Chicken with Basil and Pineapple

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Jasmine or other white rice
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for stir-frying
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Finely ground white or black pepper
  • 1/4 pineapple, trimmed and sliced into thin, bite-size pieces (1 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper-seeded, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 red Fresno (milder) or Thai (hotter) chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 1 piece (1 1/2 inches) fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 3 to 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • About 2 tablespoons kecap manis (an Indonesian condiment), or substitute 2 tablespoons Tamari and 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup basil leaves (about 20 to 24), torn
  • 1 lime, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 cut into wedges, plus 1 teaspoon zest
PREPARATION

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil, then stir in the rice and return to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender, 16-18 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

When the rice is about ready, heat a thin layer of oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons, in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Pat the chicken dry and season with pepper. Add the meat to the pan in a single layer and do not touch for 2 minutes; stir-fry until golden, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the skillet and heat up, then add the pineapple, bell pepper, chile pepper, ginger and garlic, stir-fry until crisp-tender and the pineapple pieces are light golden at the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the kecap manis (or tamari and sugar) and fish sauce. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Turn off the heat and add half the basil leaves to wilt. Stir in the lime juice and zest and toss again to combine. Serve the rice and garnish with the lime wedges and remaining basil.

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