For the sauce:
- 1 cup chicken stock
- A few thin slices of peeled ginger root
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- Juice of 1 ripe lime
For the lettuce cups:
- 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 2-3-inch long matchsticks
- A fat sprinkle of kosher salt 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 1-inch piece of fresh 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 chili peppers or 2 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup pulled Thai basil leaves or torn basil
- A handful of 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
- Chopped peanuts
- Iceberg and Bibb/butter lettuce, stemmed and arranged on platter for filling
For the sauce, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine the stock, ginger and crushed garlic; reduce by half. Remove the ginger and garlic and stir in the peanut butter to melt and incorporate. Add the the hoisin; remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
In a small bowl, season the cucumber with salt and sugar. Toss and let stand.
In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil, two turns of the pan. When the oil ripples and smokes, add the chicken; brown and crumble. Add the ginger, garlic, pepper, mild peppers and chili peppers; stir 2 minutes to cook the peppers to tender-crisp. Add the basil, mint, fish sauce, lime juice and scallions; taste and adjust the flavors.
Serve in a large platter topped with peanuts, and with the lettuce platter and sauce alongside.