A recipe from The Bitten Word
Three things conspired the other day that led to us making this dish for dinner:
1. We were jonesing for some classic Thai flavors, especially basil, in which a dish is pack with so many pungent spices that it clears your sinuses.
2. It was crazy nice weather in D.C. Unheard of in August. We had even turned off our air-conditioning and opened our windows. As such, we didn't want to heat up the apartment by cooking over a hot stove.
3. We had uncooked chicken in our fridge, a couple of eggplants from our CSA, and an abundance of basil in our garden.
Voila! Grilled Thai Chicken, Eggplant and Basil!
If we were making this dish on the stovetop, we'd start off by sauteing the onions, fresh garlic and fresh ginger. Since we wanted to do everything on the grill, we decided to use powdered garlic and ginger instead. The result was great.
And we knew we still wanted a great sauce to finish everything off. Again, if we'd been making this in a wok, we would have made the sauce in there and tossed all the meat and veggies in it. But we wondered if we could achieve the same thing (or close enough) by simply tossing the diced, grilled chicken and vegetables in the components of the sauce. Answer: YES.
This was absolutely delicious. It would be great over rice or noodles, or just on its own. It's light and healthy but packed with those sinus-clearing flavors we were craving. And it didn't heat up our apartment a single degree.
Grilled Thai Chicken, Eggplant and Basil
A recipe from The Bitten Word
Time: 25 minutes
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 medium eggplants, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch thick planks
1 onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch planks
1 red pepper, trimmed, seeded and cut into quarters
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut or torn into small pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce, preferably low-sodium
1 tablespoon fish sauce or liquid aminos (such as Bragg's)
Sriracha to taste
Heat grill until grates are hot, about 8 minutes.
Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Using 2 tablespoons oil, brush both sides of chicken breasts. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, ginger, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, and season both sides of chicken breasts with the spice mixture. Using 1 more tablespoon of oil, brush both sides of eggplant planks, onion planks and red peppers.
Grill chicken breasts over indirect heat, flipping once, until the meat registers 160 degrees, about 5 minutes per side. Grill vegetables over direct heat, flipping once, until cooked and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes per side. Remove all items from grill.
Allow the chicken and vegetables to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Then cut everything into bite-sized pieces and combine in a large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, along with basil, soy sauce, fish sauce and sriracha. Toss to combine.