Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Have you ever eaten P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps? They are a family favorite of ours; let's just say its the one appetizer on the menu that we cannot help but order each time we frequent the restaurant.  No Chinese Fusion meal is complete without them.

That's why when I ran across Rachel Ray's recipe of Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps I instantly wanted to make them. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that from the time I found the recipe until the time the food was complete was about 2 hours--and that included a trip to the grocery store.  I knew once the aroma of the chicken and shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts started taking over the kitchen that it was going to be good--and the end result did not disappoint.

Use the listed amount of hoisin sauce (a Chinese barbecue sauce) as a general guideline. Add more or less, depending on your taste. Start small, with a tablespoon or two, and then add more if desired after tasting. I personally love hoisin sauce, so I wanted more than 1/4 cup added, but you be the judge. Also, I wouldn't skimp on the ginger or the orange zest. Ah-maz-ing.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups, 4 handfuls, shitake mushrooms
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, finely chopped or grated
1 orange, zested
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 can (8 ounce) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin (available in Asian foods aisle)
1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, core removed, head quartered
Wedges of navel orange, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Remove tough stems from mushrooms and brush with damp towel to clean. (Note from Holli: Those directions are for fresh shitake mushrooms. I used dried instead because my husband prefers the taste of dried. Apparently the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavor. If you use dried mushrooms, soak them in warm water until tender. Make sure to remove the stems whether you use fresh or dried mushrooms. They are tough and take longer to cook then the soft fleshy caps.) Chop mushrooms into small-medium dice.


2. Preheat a large skillet or wok on high heat. Add oil to hot pan. Add chicken to pan and brown. (Note from Holli: The original recipe called for thin cut chicken breasts or chicken tenders that were chopped prior to cooking. I used ground chicken instead to get the same consistency as P.F. Chang's version. You may use either one, but I was happy with the result of ground chicken.) Add mushrooms and cook another 1-2 minutes.


3. Add salt and pepper to season to taste, then garlic and ginger. Cook 1-2 more minutes.


4. Grate orange zest into pan. (Note from Holli: Do not omit orange zest! It tastes amazing and would greatly change your end result if it wasn't in there!)


5. Add bell pepper, water chestnuts, and scallions. Cook another 1-2 minutes, continuing to stir fry mixture.


6. Add hoisin sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly.


7. Transfer the hot chopped chicken mixture to a serving platter and pile the quartered wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce along side. Add wedged oranges to platter to garnish. To eat, place spoonfuls of chicken mixture in the middle of single lettuce leaves, wrapping lettuce around filling. Squeeze with orange wedge if desired.


Yields: 4-6 servings as an entree or 6-8 as an appetizer.

4 comments:

inspired2cook said...

I love lettuce wraps! Thanks for the post!!

A Gracious Home said...

Every thing looks beautiful. I have several picky eater grands. Have a great week. Doylene

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