Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hoisin Chicken in Lettuce Cups

This unusual appetizer is reminiscent of the lettuce wraps served in our local Chinese Restaurant. I based the recipe on one I came across in Fine Cooking magazine's "Cooking Fresh" (2005) and tinkered with the ingredients until it suited my taste. It serves 6 - 8 as an appetizer but if you want to serve it as a main course, this recipe will serve 3.

1/3 cup hoisin sauce (found in the Chinese grocery aisle)

4 tsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. soya sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.), rinse and pat dry

salt and pepper

Iceberg lettuce leaves - either the small ones from the inside of the head or use a pizza cutter and cut round shaped cups from the larger leaves.

1/4 cup finely chopped carrot

1-2 green onions chopped or 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

1 handful each of fresh basil and parsley, chopped

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Heat BBQ grill to medium high. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and soya sauce until blended. Divide the hoisin mixture equally into into 2 bowls. Set one aside - you will use it to moisten the chopped chicken later.

Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and brush with the hoisin mixture from one of the bowls. Grill the chicken thighs, covered, until well browned and beginning to blacken around the edges - about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush with the sauce and grill for another 5 minutes or so. Continue flipping the chicken and brushing it with the hoisin mixutre until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. This does not take very long.

Remove from grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. Chop the chicken into a fine dice. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the hoisin mixture, the basil, parsley and chives. You can refrigerate the chicken at this point. Just before spooning onto the lettuce leaves, stir in the peanuts.

Place one heaping tablespoon onto each lettuce cup (I use a mini ice cream scoop), arrange on a platter and serve.

You may want use the hoisin sauce as a BBQ sauce. I've often cooked the chicken for supper and saved 4 thighs to make an appetizer for the next day.

6 comments:

  1. What a great looking appetizer. Love the ingredients...

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  2. Yum. This sounds delicious. Nice basting sauce....this is a real one to try for sure! I love 'appies' and new ideas

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  3. I rarely make appetizers but this one is calling me..yummy!

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  4. Oh. . I'll definately be trying these. .what a wonderful little starter.
    Thanks Bev,

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  5. Yummy looking appetizers, Bev. Guess what we are having for dinner tonight? We are having take-out from our favorite Chinese restaurant...lettuce wraps included!

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  6. I love the cookie cutter idea!! These sound yummy - as do all of your recipes! I'm putting you as a "look up these creative cooks!" on my blog. Jennifer

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