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Herbs : Garlic, Chicken and Holy Basil

June 17, 1993|BEV BENNETT

A decade ago, being able to have fresh basil for an Italian pesto sauce seemed revolutionary. Now the question is whether you'd like opal basil, with its velvety purple leaves, lemon basil, with its hint of citrus, blue basil or the classic European basil.

In Asian markets you might even find holy basil, dark-leafed, with a slight anise or mint flavor. It is an essential part of many Thai recipes. It's what makes Thai basil chicken such a heady dish.

Sauteed Chicken With Basil and Mint is a simplified version of that Thai favorite. Since Thai basil may still be difficult to find, you may use both fresh ordinary basil and mint to achieve the same result.

SAUTEED CHICKEN WITH BASIL 1 tablespoon oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 2 tablespoons chopped holy basil leaves 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Generous dash cayenne pepper 1 cup chicken broth Salt Lemon-Flavored Bulgur

Heat oil in medium skillet. Add garlic and chicken. Brown chicken over medium heat, being careful not to burn garlic. Add basil, pepper, cayenne and broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken to plate and keep warm.

Increase heat to high and cook to reduce liquid by half. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt. Spoon hot Lemon-Flavored Bulgur onto 2 serving plates. Top with chicken and spoon on sauce. Makes 2 servings.

Lemon-Flavored Bulgur 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water 3/4 cup bulgur Dash cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest Salt White pepper

Bring broth to boil in medium pan. Stir in bulgur, cayenne and lemon zest. Reduce heat to very low. Simmer, covered, until bulgur is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Fluff with fork. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Makes 2 servings.

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