Delicious and Different – Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

 

Where I found the recipe(s):
This recipe is courtesy of tasteofhome.com, where it received a 5-star rating from readers/subscribers.

What I thought:
I first enjoyed lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s and knew I wanted to create something similar at home. After comparing recipes online, this one got the nod because of its appealing flavors and simplicity.

This highly-flavorful meal is fun to create and serve.  Great when you’re looking for an unusual, yet doable, dish.

What I’d change:
I’ve made it twice; once with cut-up tenderloins, as the recipe suggests, and once with ground chicken. I actually preferred the ground chicken version for a couple of reasons.  The wraps are easier to eat with ground filling and the flavors blend more consistently. And to be honest, it’s easier to use ground chicken.

I used iceberg lettuce both times. The recipe calls for Bibb or Boston lettuce, which I had trouble finding. The iceberg was a fine substitute.

The recipe suggested House of Tsang Saigon Sizzle Sauce, which I tried initially; the second time I used another sauce I had on hand, Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Asian Glaze & Marinade. (You can find a variety of sauces and marinades in the ethnic section of your grocery store.) The Hoisin Garlic sauce had a sweeter flavor and was more reminiscent of the wraps at P.F. Chang’s.

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
(4 servings)
1 lb. chicken tenderloins, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (try ground chicken, or even turkey)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup stir-fry sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
8 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves (iceberg works fine, too)
1/4 cup salted peanuts
2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken with pepper. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.

Stir-fry onion and peppers in remaining oil for 5 minutes. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms and garlic; stir-fry 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add stir-fry sauce and soy sauce. Stir in chicken; heat through.

Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf; sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts and 1/4 teaspoon cilantro. Fold lettuce over filling.

Jasmine rice from a rice cooker makes a tasty accompaniment (and if you haven’t tried cooking Jasmine rice, do; the delicious aroma will fill your home with fragrance).  Jasmine rice can be found in the ethnic section of your grocery store.

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