Friday, October 31, 2008

My Version: PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I really like going to PF Chang's - usually for lunch. My colleague and I often will just order a meal of appetizers and one of our favorites is the Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I tried making them at home and they were immediately my husband's new favorite meal. They are easy to make ahead and easy to prepare.

I don't think Chang's has vegetables in theirs but I add them for nutrition value and since I grate them pretty finely, I don't think my husband even realizes that there are carrots in there.

***Warning - raw meat discussion ahead for those averse to such talk. I use chicken breasts for this recipe but plan on experimenting with buying less expensive thighs and just taking the meat off the bone. Not sure if this is more hassle than it's worth but willing to give it a try since it all just gets ground up in the food processor anyway.

Note about sauce-y-ness: This sauce can be thickened with corn starch if you like a thicker sauce. We like topping variety with this dish, often using Thai chili sauce (Srichi) and Mae ploy sweet chili sauce for the wraps so I tend to keep the main sauce level low. If you or your kids don't like so spicy, you can do more of the simple soy sauce. You can also do the sauce that they do at PF Chang's: soy sauce with spicy chinese mustard and chili paste.

Make ahead tip: If prepping veggies for another meal, I will cut additional carrots/celery/onion and put them in the fridge to make this meal. If I drag out my old school (seriously, it's circa 1980) food processor for whatever, I will prep the chicken/chestnuts, add the soy sauce and let it marinade overnight.

2 chicken breasts

1 small onion, finely diced

1cup carrots, shredded or grated

2 celery stalks, finely diced

1can water chestnuts

1 1/2 tbls wok or other vegetable oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbls red pepper, or less if you like less spicy

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 cup chow mein noodles

Cut chicken breasts into medium pieces, place in food processor and process until meat is coarsely ground. Add can of water chestnuts and process until combined and chestnuts are ground. Heat oil in a wok or large sauce pan over med-high heat. Add chicken mixture and saute until meat is no longer pink, breaking up any large chunks. Put chicken into a heat proof bowl and set aside. Add remaining 1/2 tbls of oil to wok/pan with onion, carrot and celery. Cook until just soft, then add chicken back to the wok/pan. Pour soy sauce over mixture and simmer 5 minutes.

While chicken is simmering. Separate individual lettuce leaves and wash over a colander or put in a salad spinner. Place individual leaves on a platter and put chicken mixture into a bowl. Assemble wraps by putting chicken mixture on to lettuce and top with sauce and chow mein noodles. De-lish!

Grocery Cart Challenge hosts a great recipe swap every week - thanks for the wonderful ideas!

1 comment:

Gayle said...

Oh my goodness! This looks so yummy! Thanks for posting it.

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