We ended up with 6 heads of Romaine Lettuce from our last Costco trip so I was on a mission to try some new recipes that include lettuce. Of course, I used some of the lettuce for salads and sandwiches, but I decided to make some chicken lettuce wraps for dinner to use up some of our lettuce. This recipe also continues on the chicken breast recipes I’ve posted lately. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t include any of the ingredients from the Food List Challenge, so I’ll have to push that to another post.
The filling for these lettuce wraps is based off of a recipe for BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps I found on the Food Network website from Rachel Ray. I know Rachel Ray has many fans, but I will admit that she is far from my favorite. Nonetheless, her recipe for these Chicken Lettuce Wraps garnered over 250 reviews, mostly positive, so I decided to give it a shot.
As usual, I made my own modifications. First, I marinated the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Then, not having any shitake mushrooms, I used baby bellas. Instead of vegetable or peanut oil, I used a combination of olive oil and sesame oil. Since I’m not a fan of water chestnuts, I skipped those. I added some chopped peanuts to my version and some sriracha sauce. The spiciness of the sriracha really compliments the citrus of the zest and the cool crispiness of the lettuce. I think this would work well with cilantro too, but I didn’t have any. This recipe is definitely good enough for dinner guests as a main course or as an appetizer. We ate this with some sautéed bok choy and baby corn to increase our dinner veggies.
CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
1 1/2 pounds (approx. 2 large) chicken breasts cut into small pieces (see below)
2 tablespoons of sesame oil, divided
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use light soy sauce, always Kikkoman)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup of mushrooms, chopped (I used baby bella, you can use shitake or button mushrooms)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 orange, zested (about 1 tablespoon of zest)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped (preferably not salted and raw, but roasted will work)
3 scallions, chopped, divided
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (go to the Asian food aisle of your grocery store for this)
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (more if you want to add heat)
1 small head of romaine lettuce (iceberg or bib lettuce leaves will work too)
In a medium bowl, salt and pepper the chopped chicken. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken pieces and coat the chicken evenly with the marinade. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet, wok, or dutch oven to high. Add olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to pan. Add chicken with the marinade to the pan and sear the chicken for about 2 minutes. Leave the chicken alone for at least a minute to get a nice sear before you move the chicken around in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, mixing the ingredients together while cooking.
Grate about 1 tablespoon of orange zest into pan, add the bell pepper and scallions, leaving a little bit of the scallions for topping before serving.
Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the peanuts, hoisin, and sriracha sauce.
Stir all of the ingredients to mix and coat everything evenly with the hoisin and sriracha sauce. Cook for another minute or two. Rinse and pat dry the lettuce leaves. To serve, fill the lettuce leaves with chicken filling, top with fresh scallions, squeeze a little orange juice over, and serve.