1 stalk lemongrass
1 cup chicken stock
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 Fresno chili pepper, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1-inch piece of ginger root, grated or minced
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
A handful of fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (1/3 palmful)
2 tablespoons Tamari (dark soy sauce) or 1 tablespoon fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
Kosher salt (if not using fish sauce)
2 tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken, thinly sliced
1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large head iceberg lettuce, well chilled, cored, quartered and very thinly shredded
Peel the tough outer layers of the lemongrass to expose the inner pale yellow layer. Trim 2 inches from the bottom, cutting away the bulb. Slice until the tops become tough. Add the pieces to a small pot over medium heat and add the stock and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by half. Strain, reserving the liquid.
Into a food processor add the cooked lemongrass, chilies, shallot, garlic, ginger, sugar, cilantro, mint, cumin, coriander, Tamari, pepper, lime juice and salt (if not using the fish sauce). Process into a paste.
Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over high heat; add the chicken and brown. Remove to a plate. Add a drizzle more oil and stir fry the bell peppers and onion for 2 minutes. Stir in the paste for 1 minute, then add the reserved liquid and stir. Return the chicken to the pan. Serve the stir fry on a bed of shredded lettuce.