This Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce is incredibly easy to make and absolutely packed with delicious spice and flavor.
(This recipe for Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce was originally published in February 2010, but was updated with new photos in 2019).
Sometimes I spend more time trying to decide what to make for dinner than I do actually making dinner. But when I just can’t decide what to make, I usually head over to my favorite blogs and just browse. You all know I’m obsessed with Martha Stewart and everything she does, but her website is not easy to navigate for inspiration.
Most blogs are much easier to browse and find yummy dishes to make. One of my favorite blogs to browse is Simply Recipes. I can head over there when I have NO idea what to make and usually come away with at least three ideas in no time at all. This time one of those ideas was Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce. It went on my must-make list immediately.
BASIL CHICKEN IN COCONUT CURRY SAUCE RECIPE
Please, please don’t be intimidated by the seemingly long list of ingredients in this recipe. Lots of them are spices that you probably already have in your pantry (if not, you should because you’ll definitely use them again!). Despite all those ingredients (spices), this basil chicken in coconut curry sauce is so, so easy.
You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe, so it’s totally up to you. I will tell you that if you don’t like cooking with chicken breasts because they can be dry and bland, you don’t have to worry about that with this recipe!
Start by mixing all those beautiful spices together in a small bowl. Then put your chicken pieces in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture all over it. Let it the chicken rest for about 30 minutes.
Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeño and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove the vegetables from the pan and put in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Using the same pan, add another Tbsp of oil and add half of the chicken pieces, spreading them out to make sure they’re not overcrowded. Cook for a few minutes on each side to brown. When they’re cooked through, remove from the pan and add them to the bowl of onion/jalapeño. Repeat with remaining chicken and remove that to the bowl, too.
Now, add the coconut milk to the skillet. Cook on medium-high and stir until it thickens a bit and gets bubbly and then mix in the Worcestershire sauce.
Add the chicken and onion/jalapeño, along with basil and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes.
Serve over rice… brown is always best! But obviously you can use whatever kind of rice you want. Or even quinoa. Or cauliflower rice.
Oh my goodness, this basil chicken in coconut curry sauce is so incredibly flavorful and satisfying! I didn’t scrape the seeds out of my jalapeños (because we love heat in my house!), so this definitely had an extra kick to it.
I also decided to add more fresh basil over the top since I legit love fresh basil so much. And since this dish is called basil chicken and all, I figured it needed some extra!
I’ve never actually attempted making my own curry, but this is something I’ll most definitely be doing again. There are sooo many things that can be done with curry and I love it so much. There are also so many kinds of curry and I want to make them all!
Like I mentioned, you can definitely use chicken thighs for this recipe, but I was really happy I used chicken breasts because they ended up being so moist and flavorful when cooked in the spices and in the coconut curry sauce. Some people prefer using chicken thighs to breasts because breasts can be drier and less flavorful, but that is not the case with this recipe!
Really, there is absolutely nothing I didn’t like about this dish. In case you haven’t been able to tell by this whole post. And it’s the perfect warm-up dish for today’s GROSS and RAINY weather in Boston. While watching American Idol, of course. Any early favorite contestants??
Do you like curry sauce?
If you’re looking for more recipes that really highlight basil, check out my Thai Beef Basil with Coconut Milk or my Basil and Garlic White Pizza. If you’re interested in more curry recipes, check out this Vegan Massaman Curry from The Curious Chickpea!
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (you can substitute for thighs)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup chopped onion (from 1 large onion)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, minced (remove seeds if you want to cut down on heat in dish)
- 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus more for topping, if desired)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2-3 cups cooked brown rice (can also use white rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or whatever you desire!)
- Mix all the spices (from the cumin to the turmeric) in a small bowl.
- Place chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over it. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute, until fragrant. Remove mixture from skillet and place in a medium size bowl.
- Add remaining Tbsp of oil to the same skillet and add half of the chicken pieces, spreading them out to make sure they’re not overcrowded. Cook for a few minutes on each side to cook through and lightly brown. When cooked through, remove from the skillet and add them to the bowl of onion/jalapeño. Repeat with remaining chicken and remove that to the bowl, too.
- Pour the coconut milk into the skillet. Cook on medium-high and stir until sauce thickens and starts bubbling a bit. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the chicken and onion/jalapeño mixture back into the skillet, along with basil and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Serve basil chicken over rice. Spoon more coconut curry sauce over the top. Top with more basil if desired.
- Recipe lightly adapted from Simply Recipes