Aired August 15, 2014
For the Sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
A few thin slices peeled ginger root
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
Juice of 1 ripe lime
1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into 2- to 3-inch long matchsticks
Fat sprinkle Kosher or fine sea salt
About 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons stir-fry, peanut or canola oil
1 package ground chicken, about 1 1/4 pounds
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Szechuan or black pepper
1 large red field pepper, bell pepper or mild frying pepper, seeded and chopped
3 small Thai dried red chilies or 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup pulled Thai basil leaves or torn basil
A handful mint leaves, coarsely chopped
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 large bunch scallions, whites and greens, sliced on bias
Iceberg and Bibb/butter lettuce, stemmed and arranged on platter for filling
For the sauce, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine stock, ginger and crushed garlic, and reduce by half. Remove ginger and garlic, and stir in peanut butter to melt and incorporate. Add Hoisin; remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
In a small bowl, season cucumber with salt and sugar. Toss and let stand.
In a large skillet over high heat, heat oil, 2 turns of the pan. When oil ripples and smokes, add chicken; brown and crumble. Add ginger, garlic, pepper, mild peppers and chili peppers; stir 2 minutes to cook peppers to tender-crisp. Add basil, mint, fish sauce, lime juice and scallions; taste and adjust flavors.
Serve in large platter topped with peanuts, with lettuce platter and sauce alongside.
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