Friday, March 26, 2010

Lemongrass-Mango Chicken Lettuce Boats

We have all of these random ingredients left in the fridge from some of my recent culinary attempts. My mother goes through these ‘Eat All of the Leftovers Or Else” kicks, so I figured I’d beat her to the punch and use some things up (that’s what yesterday’s herb bread was about, too). I had some fresh lemongrass, ginger, cilantro and half an onion lazing about. There was also some leftover cooked chicken breast from last night’s dinner. Plus, my dad happened to come home from the market with Mexican mangoes yesterday. Since it’s lunch, and is a nice 72F outside, I decided to do something on the lighter side and went on a hunt for a recipe. Combining various finds, I came up with Lemongrass-Mango Chicken Lettuce Boats. I’m calling them boats because I used romaine. You can call yours cups, wraps or bowls if you want. I won’t be hurt.

I’m actually really pleased with this recipe. The onion and ginger give it a nice spicy aftertaste, while the mango and lemongrass make it sweet and fresh. I’d consider making the sauce on a slightly larger scale for whole chicken breasts served hot with something like rice.

Anyway, if you make this, I hope you enjoy. I tried to, but two not-so-little kitchen elves devoured most of mine before I could.

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 large ripe mango chopped (or 2 medium)
1/4 cup chopped onion (preferably red)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
8 lettuce leaves of your choice (we only had romaine; butter lettuce is probably better for the shape)
Sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned. The chicken can be raw or leftovers, like mine as. Just don't overcook.

2. Add soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, lemongrass, and half of your chopped mango.

3. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce is thicker and you can taste the flavors melded together. If you want a certain flavor to hit a higher note, add more. I added a bit more lemongrass because I wanted to taste it a bit more. The ingredients above are merely a starting point.

4. Take your chicken off the heat and let cool.

5. Spoon cooled chicken onto lettuce leaves. Top with mango, onion and cilantro. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


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