Thai-Style Chicken


I greatly enjoy the Thai way with chicken. The combinations of exotic lemon grass, garlic and fresh chillies always have my mouth watering. The Thais also use a type of wok and they stir-fry many of their dishes. In this particular Thai-inspired dish, I have taken some elements of Thai flavourings and have created my own tasty chicken dish. It works brilliantly with rice.


  • 450 g (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 900 g (2 lb) chicken thighs with bone in
  • 1 stalk fresh lemon grass
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped lime zest
  • 3 fresh red or green chillies, seeded and finely shredded
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves

For the Marinade

  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour


If you are using unboned thighs, remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs or have your butcher do it for you. Cut the chicken into 2.5-cm (1-in) chunks and combine it in a bowl with the soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil and cornflour. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Peel the lemon grass stalk to reveal the tender, whitish centre and cut into 5-cm (2-in) pieces. Smash them with the flat of a knife or cleaver.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan until it is very hot. Add the oil, then the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes until the chicken is brown. Remove the chicken and drain off the oil. Return the drained chicken to the wok and add the rest of the ingredients, except the basil leaves. Continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the chicken is cooked. Add the basil leaves and give the mixture a good stir. Pour on to a warm platter and serve at once.