based on a recipe by Corinne Trang, "Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine."
you like intensely flavored food? this one's for you. make sure to use Vietnamese fish sauce, nuoc mam, "made in Vietnam".
marinate 1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut in to bite-size pieces, in 4 tbsps. fish sauce, 4 tsps. sugar(thoroughly dissolved), 2 tbsps. vegetable oil, 4 large cloves of garlic (well-smashed), 2 stalks of lemongrass (trimmed, ground), at least two hours. reserve marinade.
cut 2 bird or Thai chilis lengthwise and remove seeds. cut diagonally into thin slices. slice 4-6 leaves of purple or thai basil. heat 2 tbsps. vegetable oil in large wok or nonstick saute pan. brown chicken well with sliced chilis and basil. add marinade, freshly ground pepper, and 1/2 cup water, and cover, and let cook at least 30 minutes (add more water, 1/4 cup at a time, if needed). when chicken is tender and well-cooked turn off heat and garnish with more basil leaves. serve hot with jasmine rice.