Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Last night we had chicken lettuce wraps for dinner.  We don't go out nearly enough to eat these as often as I like (which is a lot!) so after some google searching and combining of recipes to suit our tastes here's what I've come up with.  I hope you like it too:)

I begin with the lettuce.  It's the easiest to prep and can just chill in the fridge til dinner is ready.  Let me show you how easy it is to get the core out and wash it whole.

After harvesting a head of iceberg lettuce out of your organic garden (ahem), but before removing any of the outside leaves, with the core facing down give it a good solid slam on the counter.  It may take a couple times.

Turn the lettuce over and the core should easily pluck out.  Now remove the outside leaves that are tattered.

With the head of lettuce in tact and the core facing up run cold water into the lettuce, filling it up with water.  Turn over to drain, do this several times until any dust is flushed out.

Place in a bowl upside down in the fridge while you make the chicken filling.  Water will continue to drain and the cold air will crisp up the lettuce a bit.

Now that that's taken care of, move on to the filling ingredients.  As with any stir fry dish, you want to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go once you begin cooking.  I have 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 small can water chestnuts drained and chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1/3 cup of cashews chopped, and the stir fry sauce mixed and waiting.  On a separate plate I've diced 2 diced chicken breasts, no cross-contamination here please!

Add about 2 tablespoons of canola oil to a med-high heat saute pan with just a splash of sesame oil.  Once the oil is hot brown the chicken, then move to a clean plate.

Add a bit more oil to the pan along with the onions and a splash of soy sauce.  I love the smell of the soy sauce when it hits the hot pan as well as the instant color it gives to the onions, yum.  I'm already getting excited to eat!

After the onions cook down a couple minutes add in the garlic and stir just til it becomes very fragrant.  Not too long though, burned garlic is not good:(

Next stir in the chicken and stir fry sauce, and last the water chestnuts and cashews.  They don't need to cook, just warm through and combine with everything else.  I like to serve this with rice and lettuce, of course.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Filling:
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 head of iceberg lettuce
3 T canola oil
1 t sesame oil
1 c onion, diced
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t soy sauce
1/3 c cashews, chopped

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1" ginger, minced
1/8 t red pepper (1/4 for more heat)
1 t sesame oil

Combine ingredients for stir fry sauce in a small bowl, set aside.  Over medium high-heat brown chicken in 2 T canola oil and 1 t sesame oil, remove to a plate and set aside.  Add remaining 1 T canola oil to pan along with the onion and 1 t soy sauce.  Cook onions down a bit, then add garlic stirring for about 30 seconds.  Add back into the pan the browned chicken along with the stir fry sauce, water chestnuts and cashews.  Stir well and warm through.  Serve with whole lettuce leaves and sticky rice.  Enjoy!

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