Place the chicken thighs in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder and five-spice powder. Mix well.
Heat a non-stick frying pan. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin side down, in a single layer. Cook over very high heat until the skins are seared. Flip them over to sear the opposite side. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and set aside.
In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the cooking oil. Saute the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, shallots and cumin with a generous drizzle of fish sauce until softened and fragrant.
Stir in the rice and lemon basil.
Arrange the seared chicken on top of the rice.
Cover the pot tightly to make sure that no steam can escape.
Cook the rice and chicken for about 30 minutes.
To serve the seared chicken with spiced basil rice, ladle rice in bowls, top with two chicken thighs and drizzle with fresh lemon or lime juice.