June 15, 2015

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Okay, okay, this is definitely not soup. But it is easy, fast, delicious, healthy, and perfectly comforting on a warm day. A crisp bite of lettuce and a warm savory filling! There is not much better. I don't typically make a lot of Asiany food, I am always afraid it won't taste as good as it should. But this was pretty darn perfect. Topped with whatever you like or have on hand, this is definitely customizable. I want to eat everything inside a lettuce leaf now! Look out tacos, you have a fierce competitor! Ground turkey or pork would also work well here!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe from The Kitchn </u>
Serves 4 as a main course, or 2 people for two meals!

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 1 tablespoon tamari, if gluten-free)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken, white meat or dark meat (or ground turkey)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped small
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (from about 6 green onions), divided
2 small heads Bibb or butter lettuce (we ate one whole head of Boston lettuce for one 2-person meal, and will eat the other head with leftovers!)

Optional extras: chopped red onions, chopped bell peppers,  grated carrots, extra green onions, red pepper flakes, hot sauce 

Mix together the sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and keep near the stove. (If you'd like a thicker sauce, whisk in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.)

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Break up the chicken into small crumbles as you cook. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean bowl.

Warm the other teaspoon of oil in the skillet. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped water chestnuts, garlic, and ginger, and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the cooked chicken back to the pan with the vegetables, along with half of the green onions.

Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken mixture and stir to coat. Cook just until you hear bubbling and the sauce is warmed through, 30 to 60 seconds. Taste a spoonful of the mixture and add more hoisin sauce if you'd like a stronger flavor. (I found it to be perfect as is!)

Break off all the lettuce leaves and pile them on a plate in the center of the table, along with small dishes with hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and the remaining sliced green onions. Transfer the hot chicken mixture to a serving dish, or serve straight from the skillet. Give everyone a spoon and let them dig in — place a generous spoonful of chicken mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, top with whatever looks delicious, and dig in!