Saturday, July 18, 2009

Recipe: Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Wraps

It. Is. HOT!!!

It's been 100+ degrees every day this week and it looks like we'll be stuck with this heat through the weekend. I don't know about you guys, but when it's this hot the only things I want to eat are giant, leafy salads and fresh fruit. Still, there are times when it’s so hot I don’t even feel like I can lift a fork (I’m sure you’ve all been there before!). This is why I’m ever-so-thankful that the lettuce wrap exists. I get my fair share of greens, there’s a yummy filling involved, and I don’t need flatware to eat ‘em, just grab it and chow.

Aside from my heat-induced lethargy, I decided to make this because I needed to make use of a giant pineapple I scored for a mere $1.49 (priced per pineapple, not per pound!) at my favorite Mexican grocery store. It’d been camping out in my refrigerator for about a week and I knew I needed to dig into it soon. In my freezer I still had some of the amazingly inexpensive chicken breasts I got at the same store, so I decided to play around with the two, though I wasn’t really feeling the whole hot stir-fry idea I’d originally thought of making. Since Safeway had a fairly decent sale on their butter lettuce the last time I went to pick up some kitty food, I realized I was saved from too much hot kitchen work (I only have one tiny window A/C unit for my whole apartment, so my kitchen gets REALLY hot in the summer) and decided to make some fun lettuce wraps.

You can definitely substitute leftover chicken and frozen/canned pineapple for the fresh stuff if that’s what you have on hand. I don’t want any of you to be spending extra money if you don’t need to! If you’re cooking your chicken breasts, simply season them well with salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic, and cook in a skillet as you normally would. Other than that, there isn’t much to note; this is healthy, very easy to prepare, and a nice change for a weeknight dinner. This would also be great as part of an hors d’oeuvre spread at a small party. Just make sure to stick with tossing the chicken mixture with the sauce as opposed to making it a dipping sauce. Lettuce wraps are great, but they can get a little messy when it comes to dipping. This way you have all the flavor and none of the mess. Now, on with the show!

Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Wraps (serves 2-3 with 2 wraps per person; total cost per serving: ~ $2.15)

4-6 butter lettuce leaves

1 1/2 c cooked chicken breasts, shredded
3/4 c pineapple, chopped into ½” pieces

2 serrano peppers, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped

Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1/3 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 c rice vinegar

1/4 c soy sauce

2 T honey



Rinse the butter lettuce and pat dry. To prepare the dressing, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until completely combined and set aside. In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken, pineapple, serranos, onion, and cilantro. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and toss together well. Assemble your wraps by spooning a generous amount of the chicken & pineapple mixture. Drizzle the tops of each with a little more dressing, roll 'em up, and enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. just the thought of that cool pineapple makes my mouth water and my spine tingle. thank you missus. though not new to lettuce wraps, this yummy filling is a whole new gustatory orgasm waiting to happen.

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  2. All that onion is making me hungry :) I may try this minus the pineapple.

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  3. Looks like a great meal for triple-digit weather, and the price is certainly right! I might have to try my hand at making these! Chicken, serrano peppers and cilantro equal a delicious combination!

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  4. Looks great! What Mexican grocery store do you use?

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