Everybody needs at least one Asian dish in their arsenal and this one is NO FAIL! My sister-in-law (the adorable Kristine) came over the night I made these and she woofed it down without taking a breath! Atta girl, Kristine - that's what this family is all about.
AND....can I just tell you the best part about this recipe?! It's SO loaded with veggies and my kids had no idea! AWESOME! It's got a little spicy kick to it, so don't be alarmed - but if your kiddies aren't used to spicy food, they might not touch this. My kids did fine, but you never know.
So...once again this is a recipe I tweaked so I'm going completely by memory. Either way - it's kind of hard to mess this up!
ASIAN CHICKEN PEANUT LETTUCE WRAPS
(If you're feeding more than 4 adults, you might want to double the recipe)
4 frozen chicken breasts
1 large carrot
8 whole mushrooms
3 green onions
1 red bell pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oil
1 -2 tsp. sesame seed oil (no substitutions!)
1 head butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated
For sauce: (I got all of this stuff at Wal-Mart, girls - not hard)
1/2 bottle Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce
1/3 c. Asian Toasted Sesame dressing
3-4 dashes soy sauce
1 tsp. dried ginger (or 1/4 tsp. fresh minced ginger)
1 T. rice vinegar
handful of (shelled) sunflower seeds (optional)
Bring chicken breasts to a boil in water with a pinch of salt; cover. Boil for 10 minutes; remove from water and chop finely into pieces about the size of peas.
Meanwhile, finely dice the onion, mushroom, and bell pepper to the same size as the chicken pieces. (My kids DON'T eat mushrooms and they had NO idea this dish had any mushrooms at all!)
Finely grate the carrot; set aside in a separate bowl.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onions, mushrooms, pepper. Cook 2 minutes to soften. Add chicken and minced garlic. Saute for a couple more minutes. Then add all of the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until liquid is reduced and there is almost no liquid left in the pan and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in grated carrot and if you like nuts, I sprinkled sunflower seeds in mine and it was SO good!
**Note: If your mixture is missing something or doesn't taste quite right, you can always add one of two things: a little bit of butter helps neutralize foods, or a small pinch of brown sugar helps neutralize some of the sour ingredients in this recipe.
Serve with a plate of lettuce leaves and your cooked rice - or get creative and cook up some Asian noodles. I used green-leaf lettuce and they weren't strong enough - you'd have to double up on those or use a firmer lettuce leaf.