Friday, March 23, 2012

Everyday Cooking: Chicken Stir-Fry Lettuce Wraps

Can you believe this is the first time I've ever made any type of lettuce wrap?  What in the world was I waiting for?  I guess it took 90 degree heat in the middle of March.  Geez...I thought I'd have a few more months to shed some of that winter weight.  Summer clothes in March?  Torture.

Chicken Stir-Fry Lettuce Wraps.  Delicious.  Seriously flavorful.  Very filling.  Fun to make.  Family-approved.  I think I'll be wrapping all kinds of things in lettuce from now on. 

This recipe comes from Martha's Everyday Food Great Food Fast and I've had it bookmarked to make for years.  It's basically thin strips of chicken breast (could use chicken thighs, pork, tofu, etc.), thinly sliced onion, red pepper, and quite a bit of garlic.  Then the chicken mixture gets mixed with some soy sauce, some rice vinegar (for great tang), and a cornstarch slurry to thicken.  We loved these wraps as they were, but we thought it would be nice to add in some sliced water chestnuts and/or sprinkle some cashews on top for added crunch.  These are a definite make again recipe.

Note:  This are rather messy to eat with your hands.  You'll need lots of napkins.
 Chicken Stir-Fry Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4

 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
 coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to serve (optional)
3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads or one large head)

Note:  Sliced water chestnuts and/or cashews would also provide a nice crunch and be nice in these lettuce wraps.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat.  Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2-4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, along with the onion and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes ( reduce the heat if browning too quickly).

Reduce the heat to medium; add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the pan; cook, stirring until fragrant 30 to 60 seconds.

Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from the heat.  Add the chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat.  Serve in lettuce cups.


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  2. I know what you mean about summer clothes...I seriously need to be restricting carbs! Putting this on the menu for next week.

  3. Yum, this sounds good. I want it for dinner tonight. I love lettuce wraps, though yeah...they always tend to be messy. For me at least ;) And don't get me started on summer clothes in March. Grrrr....

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE lettuce wraps and can't believe this is the first time you made them. This recipe sounds perfect for a maiden voyage and the results look delicious!!!!

  5. I am a huge lettuce wraps fan!!! I always order them in a restaurant close to my house!!!!They serve them with 3 sauces on the side...and I love them...they fun to eat.

  6. I've had these bookmarked forever too! I'm glad to hear a rave review - now I know I need to make them soon!

  7. So...I've actually NEVER made lettuce wraps, which means we're kind of in the same boat. Except you took the plunge! I really should keep lettuce around more often for wrapping stir fries. what a tasty meal!

  8. 90 degrees...whoa! Yall are hotter than we are. I love the colors in this dish, Kim. So bright and lively. I think the fabric you chose as the background works so well with the food.

    Looks perfect for dinner out on the deck. If they are as messy as you say they are, I'd rather it be outside ;-)

  9. True confession here. I've never made a lettuce wrap either. That cookbook is one of my favorites and the recipes never seem to go out of style.

    Fabulous photos as usual Kim.

  10. Lettuce wraps are one of my favorite go-to dinners. Easy and fun. These look like they have a lot of flavor. ;-)

  11. This recipe looks fairly easy to prepare & cook and packs in the flavor. Will definitely give this a try. :)


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