Before I jump in to this deliciousness, let me state, for the record, that this recipe is adapted from Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook, Cravings. I have a large collection of cookbooks that I draw inspiration from and this one is no exception.
When I opened the page to “french toast casserole with salted frosted flakes” I was like…mmmk yea I’m in. It’s a great cookbook and if you don’t have it, I suggest you buy it. You can do that here on Amazon.
There are a bunch of recipes in this book that I could have started with, but I was drawn to these chicken lettuce wraps. Maybe it was the Asian-inspired flavors I was craving, or maybe because I’m trying to cut back on the carbs (it’s January, that’s what we’re supposed to do now, right?)
Either way, I thought they were delicious, but a touch heavy on the ginger for my taste. Obviously that’s a personal preference, but I found the amount in here to be a little too much for me. So in my version of this recipe, I used 1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger each (one for the filling and one for the sauce). Hers called for more.
Also, I should mention that this recipe is A LOT of prep work. A lot of dicing and chopping. It says 15 minutes prep time but I’m gonna call bullshit on that because I was chopping/mincing shit for at least a half hour, maybe more. And I’m pretty fast with the knife. So, while I maintain that it was VERY tasty and worth the effort, you might want to prepare yourself for the chopping and dicing. Total cook time for me was a little over an hour. I don’t love cutting corners on fresh ingredients, so I kept most of that the same. But if you find pre-chopped mushrooms, peppers, and water chestnuts, I say go for it.
I also only used 1 head of lettuce for the amount of filling, but maybe I just had a really large head of lettuce? The original recipe calls for 2.
And her photo looked a lot saucier than mine, so I assume that was done specifically for the photo. But if it were up to me, I’d make an extra little batch of that sauce to pour over the top. If you get stumped on some of the ingredients, you can find Thai sweet chili sauce and hoisin sauce in most supermarkets in the Asian ingredients part of the store.
Bonus: plenty of leftovers and they taste even better the next day. I also added the sliced avocado to my lettuce before wrapping it all up, hence why you can’t see it in the photo. BUT SO YUMSIES.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Avocado (adapted from Cravings)
For the sauce
- 3 tbsps Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 tbsps hoisin sauce
- 3 tbsps light soy suace
- 2 tbsps sriracha
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
For the filling:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3 tbsps vegetable oil, divided
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced (whites and greens kept separate)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 10 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, finely diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 avocados, sliced (for serving)
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated for serving
- First, make the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili sauce, hoisin, soy, sriracha, vegetable oil, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic and ginger.
- For the filling, add 2 tbsps of the sauce into the ground chicken. Make sure your hands are washed, then mix together with your hands to ensure the sauce is evenly incorporated.
- In a large, deep skillet (or wok, I suppose), heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When nice and hot, add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned. NOTE: there was a bit too much fat in my pan for the meat to brown, so I drained it a little and then browned it a bit before moving on to the next step.
- When lightly browned, transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Back in the skillet, add the remaining 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, then add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to cook; stirring together until they release their liquid, about 4-5 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan with the mushrooms, then add the water chestnuts, bell pepper and the rest of the sauce.
- Cook and stir until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the scallion greens. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
- Set the lettuce leaves out with the sliced avocado and serve. I like to put 2 slices of avocado right on top of the lettuce, so when you put the hot chicken on top, it melts the avo a little. Mmmm…