For the Thai basil chicken broth:
Place the chicken, mushrooms, celery
, onion, lemongrass, Thai basil, ginger, Thai chile
, lime peel
, bay leaves
, and peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with cold water, approximately 2 to 2 1/2 quarts. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer
, uncovered. Skim
the top, removing the impurities throughout the cooking process. Cook for 1 hour at a low simmer. Remove the chicken from the pot. Remove the leg meat, pull into pieces and reserve for soup garnishes. Remove the remaining chicken and reserve for personal use. Strain
into a clean pot.
For the Thai basil chicken soup garnishes: Bring the stock to a boil. Add the chile, if using, sugar
, fish sauce, and lime juice. Season the mixture with salt. Add the pulled chicken meat, tomato, and cucumber. Serve the soup, piping hot, garnish
with green onion, sesame oil, lime, and Thai basil.