Basil Chicken Vila

[Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu; 17 45' S/168 19' E]

 

Vanuatu proved to be a land of gorgeous vegetables, which if bought from public markets or traded in villages, was a bargain.   Port Vila, the capital "city" of the country is also a multi-ethnic place and one Saturday we stumbled upon the International Women's Group fundraising day where home-cooked foods of many countries were offered.  This event, and the fine ingredients available each day in the public market, spawned a resurgence in our interest in cooking Thai dishes.  This is Philip's luscious recipe, adapted from The Book of Thai Cooking by Hilaire Wilson.

 

1 whole chicken, pieced, skinned and de-fatted  (optional: substitute boneless breast or two split breasts)

ca. 3 Tb olive oil

ca. 2 Tsp. black pepper

sea salt to taste

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup basil leaves, ripped in small pieces

1 stalk green onion, finely sliced

1 Tb Thai fish sauce

Zest of one lime

Juice of one lime

2 Tb Fiji Fire * or 3 chiles cut fine

1 can unsweetened prepared coconut milk or the fresh equivalent

 

Add olive oil to a large saute pan.  Add chicken pieces and sprinkle liberally with black pepper.  Cook on medium heat to brown and cook chicken.  Add garlic, onion and Fiji Fire and cook until chicken is done.  Add coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to boil.   Add lime juice and lime zest, green onion, salt and basil leaves, stir and serve immediately over jasmine rice or wide rice noodles.

 

Serves 4

 

* Our own homemade hot sauce; see recipe under Our Galley