Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spicy Thai Chicken with Mango Basil Salsa

I love Thai food. It's one of my favorite cuisines, second only to Italian food. The perfect balance of spicy and sweet lures my taste buds every time. My favorite dishes are the curry dishes - spicy curry, balanced perfectly with sweet coconut milk - but I also love the classics, like Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles and Pad See Ew.

As I plan our meals each week (I always plan before grocery shopping), I try to incorporate at least one new recipe into the cycle. By doing so, I feel like dinner is more of an adventure, and it allows me to push myself into new flavor profiles. Last week's adventure involved a lot of prep work, but the results were so worth it. In fact, even though I managed to use three-quarters of the dishes in the kitchen, Jesse said he would eat this meal again. (read: it was a hit)

But before I share this fabulous recipe, I owe a HUGE thank you (and hug) to my friend, Kelsey, for showing me the recipe. In my original post about Buster 2 (see his story here), I mentioned that I'm looking forward to a summer full of basil. Kelsey commented on my post and said that she had an amazing dish for me to try. As soon as I saw that it was Thai food and it called for basil, I was hooked. I went out to the store, bought all of the ingredients, and tried it right away. Now it's your turn ... go buy these ingredients and make this dish. You won't regret it.

I sliced up a mango for the first time ...

and used fresh ginger, too ...

And after combining all of these wonderful, fresh ingredients (along with a few more), I ended up with this amazing creation.

Spicy Thai Chicken with Mango Basil Salsa
Inspired by: Good Deal by David Lieberman & Can You Stay for Dinner

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

1 mango, peeled and finely diced
3 scallions, sliced
5 basil leaves, julienned
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2–inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 lime, zested
1/4 cup coconut milk
Small handful basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 grinds pepper
1 lb. chicken breast, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced

Rice: (optional)*
2 cups Jasmine Rice, pre-cooked
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 lime, zested

For the salsa: Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make up to a day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator.

For the chicken: In a mixing bowl, combine jalapenos, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, coconut milk, basil, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Set aside a quarter of the marinade in a separate container. Add the meat to the remaining marinade and refrigerate both containers for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Use tongs or a fork to remove the meat from the marinade and place in an even layer in the pan. Flip the meat after about 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute peppers, mushrooms and onions until tender.

Let the chicken cook for another 5 or so minutes, until cooked through. Stir in the vegetables.

In a separate saucepan (I used the vegetable sauce pan), add the reserved marinade, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

For the rice: Pour the marinade over the cooked chicken or shrimp and serve with coconut-lime Jasmine rice*. Top the plate with the basil-mango salsa.

* If using pre-cooked rice (I use Trader Joe's Thai Jasmine Rice), cook the rice according to the directions, mix coconut milk and lime zest into the rice, and serve. If using traditional rice, cook according to the directions, using half coconut milk and half water with zested lime.

Today I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam, Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtainand Hearth & Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life.


  1. That looks delicious Susan! I'm bookmarking to try! I love the combo of spicy and sweet.

  2. Yummy!

    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations
    (come see my frappe recipe!)

  3. yaaaa sus! so glad you loved it :) also, nice napkin in the background :) it IS perfect! hug back at you!

  4. Delicious meal, that mango salsa is fabulous along with spicy chicken, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul hop.

  5. Great post Susan! Cutting up mango for the first time? You should do it more! Try champagne mangos. They're not as fibrous and very sweet. I love food posts.. yum.

  6. Hi, I just wanted to thank you for visiting Cast Party Wednesday and I hope you join me again tomorrow and share more of your great recipes!
    I hope to see you tomorrow!

  7. this sounds delish...i am bookmarking this recipe to try someday. thai is my favorite too!!

    hugs, cindy


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