Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

This basil coconut chicken curry recipe is a favorite. It’s fairly easy to pull together and tasty (no leftovers!). Use chicken thigh meat instead of breast meat for a richer chicken flavor.


-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder
-1/4 teaspoon turmeric
-1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs (you can use breasts, but the thighs are more flavorful)
-1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-2 Tbsp olive oil or grape seed oil
-1 14-oz can coconut milk
-2 teaspoons cornstarch
-1 teaspoon tomato sauce
-3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
-1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

-Hot cooked rice


1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground cardamom, chili powder, and turmeric. Set aside.

2. Rinse chicken, pat dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Put into a bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over all the pieces. Coat well and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

3. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the onions, peppers and garlic from the pan and put into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Use the same pan for the next step.

4. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add one half of the chicken pieces, spreading them out on the pan so they are not crowded. Brown for a few minutes on each side. When the chicken pieces are cooked through, and no pink remains, remove from pan, add to the bowl with the onions. Cook the second batch of chicken pieces the same way. Remove from pan, add to bowl with onions.

5. Add the coconut milk, minus a couple tablespoons, to the skillet. In a small bowl, mix the remaining coconut with the corn starch to dissolve the corn starch. Add the corn startch mixture back to the skillet with the coconut milk. Cook on medium heat and stir till thick and bubbly. Mix in the sauce. Add chicken mixture, basil, and ginger. Cook 2 minutes more to cook through.

Serve over rice.

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