Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps-- 2 recipes

--4 chicken breast halves or 10-12 chicken breast tenders
--5 chopped cloves of garlic
--1/2 chopped onion
--1/4 cup soy sauce (if gluten free, go for La Choy or Tamari wheat free)
--1/4 cup white wine
--1/2 t ginger
--dash of allspice (or a dash each of cloves, cinnamon and black pepper)
--2 T balsamic vinegar

The Directions:
--chop up chicken into teeny tiny chunks. After I compiled my concoction, I googled how to "really" make this and discovered that most recipes call for ground chicken, turkey, or pork. That probably would have been easier. And I wouldn't have had to sterilize myself quite as much afterwards.

--chop up the onions and garlic, dump into crockpot on top of the meat
--in a mixing bowl, mix the liquid and spices
--pour sauce on top of meat

cover and cook for 4-6 hours on high, 6-8 on low. I did stir this a few times to break up the chicken--it wanted to stick together at first.

--serve over lettuce leaves. I chose Romaine, because Trader Joe's sells them already separated and it makes me happy.

These tasted great. I would have liked a bit more crunch, though, and will add some water chestnuts and green onion next time.

(Recipe from Stephanie and can be found here on her blog.)

Here is a different recipe:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 cup prepared stir fry sauce

1 head butter, bibb or green leaf lettuce, cored and washed well

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup broccoli coleslaw or shredded broccoli stems

1 cup Oriental salad dressing

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until chicken is done.

Place chicken on a large platter along with the lettuce leaves, shredded carrots and shredded broccoli. Serve the Oriental dressing in a bowl on the side for dipping and allow each person to place the desired amount of chicken and vegetables in the center of a lettuce leaf. Roll up, and dip in the dressing as desired.

Makes 4 servings.

For the lettuce, choose butter, bibb or green leaf lettuce. Purchase stir-fry ready chicken or quickly slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts yourself. Look for bagged shredded carrots and broccoli slaw in the produce section.

I chose a spicy stir fry sauce made by House of Tsang when making this dish for my family, but many varieties are on the market. If your family prefers milder sauces over a hot-and-spicy blend, look for a sauce flavored with ginger. There were at least three brands of stir-fry sauces and glazes available at my local grocery store.

The dipping sauce I selected was an Oriental dressing from Wish-Bone, but other brands are available.

Quickly saute the chicken breast strips in a bit of vegetable oil, then add half a cup of the sauce and cook until the chicken is done. Then place the chicken and shredded vegetables on a large platter with the lettuce leaves and let everyone prepare their own wrap.

If you think lettuce wraps are a bit exotic for your family, substitute flour tortillas for the lettuce leaves to make something similar to Chinese Mu Shu chicken. And, feel free to personalize your lettuce wraps by adding cooked Oriental rice noodles, white rice or other vegetables.

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