In Which We Wrap

Our love and success with Food & Wine recipes continues – I swear, they don’t sponsor me or anything (god, I wish), but they’re recipes always just turn out so darn good! And they’re not too terribly difficult, which is always appreciated.

This time around it was chicken lettuce wraps – you slice up the chicken and toss with garlic, ginger, red pepper, salt, pepper, and oil and let marinate for tasty tastiness:

Chicken marinating.

Meanwhile, cut and chop your way to a pretty plate of toppings. If you made this recipe in multiple, it would be great appetizers for a party, and you could even add to the topping choices if you were feeling particularly ambitious. We were not, as we only had ourselves to impress, but it still looked quite nice.

So fresh and so green.

Once the chicken is all yummy and marinated, it goes into a pan to cook amongst a bunch of Asian flavors (we probably have more Asian sauces in our fridge than all other types put together – they’re just the best. Maybe that’s my Asian heritage speaking, but I hold that it’s generally true).

Mmm…saucy.

In the end, you have a fun little do-it-yourself kit with lettuce leaves, chicken, and fillings. The chicken is a little spicy and very good, and the vegetables are plentiful. Look, so pretty:

Ready to go! Munch, munch.

Enjoy!

Stir-Fried Chicken in Lettuce Leaves
My main issue with this recipe was that there simply wasn’t enough of it – it is definitely a scant four servings if you’re looking at these for a main dish. We had some left over after eating our fill, but I could have eaten a bit more and the leftovers were definitely not enough for another two people. I might just use a pound and a half of chicken, or double the recipe since the leftovers are pretty darn good. We used butter lettuce, which is one of the few lettuces I personally enjoy, and it was perfect, but use whatever you like!

Time: 40 Minutes

Yield: 4 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese black bean sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 head of green-leaf lettuce, leaves separated
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded on a box grater
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded mint
In a medium bowl, toss the diced chicken thighs with the garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Let the chicken stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small cup, combine the soy sauce with the dry sherry, black bean sauce and sugar. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch.
Heat a large skillet or wok until very hot to the touch. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat until smoking, swirling the skillet to coat with the hot oil. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry over high heat until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Stir the sauce and add it to the chicken, stirring to coat; cook just until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 1 minute.
Arrange the lettuce leaves, shredded carrot, sliced scallions and shredded mint in separate serving bowls and serve with the chicken.
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