Another interesting craving that turned into something delicious for dinner! Here’s how my train of thought moved: I have an indoor grill that works really well, but it’s HUGE and heavy so we’re getting rid of it – spring cleaning, you know. So I started thinking of things I could use on the grill one last time – a good send-off. So I thought of chicken satay skewers. But then I completely altered my plan and decided on sautéing the chicken and a bunch of vegetables. So the grill will have to wait for another day.
I did some random searches for chicken satay, and ended up combining a number of recipes (with additions and omissions as the palate in my head dictated). One recipe called for wrapping the chicken and some vegetables in naan wraps, but I wanted an additional texture and flavor component and thought I’d wrap mine in lettuce leaves. Into the store – thankfully I did not find any iceberg or bib lettuce (my original choices) because I “settled” on large romaine leaves and they were perfect! They have just the right strength to carry the pile of food I subjected them to, and they have a fantastic crunch. And to finish it off, I made a spicy peanut sauce to drizzle over top.
The colors of all the vegetables are great, and when you hit the hot pan with the minced ginger and garlic you get a fantastic and fragrant facial! I served some jasmine thai rice with this dish which I infused with some minced garlic & ginger.
Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
3 Tbl. ginger, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl. olive oil
3 Tbl. rice wine vinegar
3 Tbl. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbl. soy sauce
1 tsp. red chili flakes
3 Tbl. sesame oil
1 cup red onion, sliced thin
½ cup carrot, shredded
½ cup red bell pepper, sliced thin
½ cup bok choy, sliced thin
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 Tbl. minced ginger (I grated mine)
1 garlic clove, minced (I grated mine)
4 – 6 large romaine leaves, cleaned & dried
Spicy peanut sauce (recipe below)
Combine the ginger (3 Tbl.), garlic (2 cloves), olive oil, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and chili flakes in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Place the chicken strips in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the contents from the food processor. Mix thoroughly and put In the refrigerator for at least an hour. (This would be a good time to make the spicy peanut sauce).
Heat up the sesame oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Using your fingers (or a paper towel), wipe off any excess marinade from the chicken strips and place them in the pan. Cook the chicken for 3 – 5 minutes, turning a couple of times, until cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with a paper towel to keep warm. Keep the heat on and into the same pan add the onion, carrot, pepper and bok choy. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic & ginger and the bean sprouts and cook for 1 – 2 minutes to combine all the flavors.
Place your large romaine leaves on your plate. Down the center of each leave, layer the strips of chicken. You could drizzle the peanut sauce directly over the chicken (I didn’t, but I probably will the next time I make this). Pile the vegetables on top of the chicken and enjoy.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
Recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbl. ground coriander (original calls for 2/3 bunch of fresh coriander)
¾ cup creamy peanut butter (original calls for ½ cup)
¼ cup plus 1 Tbl. soy sauce (original calls for ½ cup – too salty)
¼ cup sesame oil
5 Tbl. sugar
Dash of rice wine vinegar
1 Tbl. red pepper flakes (original calls for 1 Tbl. hot chili oil)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Pour contents into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat and set aside to cool.