gai pad bai gaprow.

To start, I always call this dish by the wrong name. I can never remember it properly. Gad Bai Bad Gaprow. Gad Bad Bai Gaprow. To my credit, I usually get the last word right. Regardless, I know what it is and I know that it’s good. This dish is one that I feel that I have mastered, and I rarely feel that way about recipes because at any moment, they can pop up and bite you in your confident ass.

Gai Pad Bai Gaprow
Adapted from Gourmet 1996

I always serve this with coconut rice and recently toasted some coconut flakes to go on top. Needless to say, do that.

6 chicken thighs
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 small fresh red or green Thai (bird) chilies or jalapeno peppers, keeping one with seeds, minced (I always use jalapenos because I can never be certain which pepper is the Thai chile)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp. Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh holy basil leaves or Asian basil leaves (from about 2 ounces sprigs), washed well and spun dry (I usually use sweet basil here, as the holy basil has been impossible to find)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice or to taste

Freeze chicken, wrapped in plastic wrap, 30 minutes to facilitate slicing. Cut chicken lengthwise (along grain) into thin slices and cut slices lengthwise into thin strips. Cut strips crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat until hot. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and stir-fry until golden. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, until all chicken is opaque white, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add chilies, broth or water, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and black pepper and stir-fry until combined. Add basil and stir-fry 30 seconds. If using holy basil, stir-fry 1 minute more, or until basil is wilted but still green. Stir in lime juice.

Serve chicken with rice.

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