Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thai Chicken Wraps

Back in March Alex and I had a Thai Chicken Wrap on our flight back from Colorado.  It was legitimately good - for airplane food it was close to amazing.  I was expecting something totally pedestrian and lame, so I was pretty impressed.  Way to go United!  So the other day when I was thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, I started thinking about that Thai Chicken Wrap.  Since I couldn't remember exactly what went in that wrap, I decided that we would throw in some romaine lettuce, red bell pepper, carrots and fresh herbs.  And serve the wraps with a nice spicy peanut sauce.  

Our Thai Chicken Wraps turned out really nicely.  The chicken was moist and fairly flavorful and there were tons of fresh crunchy veggies in the wraps to give them some substance.  We ended up using napa cabbage instead of romaine because Alex came home from the grocery store with napa cabbage and no romaine.  Oops.  I'm sure that at one time or another we have all gone to the grocery store and ended up with the wrong ingredient.  I know I have.  The switch worked out just fine.  I briefly considered adding some scallions or some red onion, but got lazy.  The next time I make the wraps I will probably throw in a few thinly sliced scallions.  I also considered tossing the napa cabbage in the peanut sauce to more evenly distribute the sauce throughout the wrap, but decided that might be overkill.  If you did that you might end up with overly dressed, soggy wraps.  And no one likes that.  The Thai Peanut Sauce came from a recipe we found on a blog called She Simmers.  I have never added curry paste to a peanut sauce before, but it is delicious.  The curry paste gives the peanut sauce some heat and a nice aroma.  The coconut milk makes the sauce nice and rich.  This sauce is pretty thin, so if you want a thicker peanut sauce, you can either make the sauce in advance and refrigerate it (it will thicken up a lot as it cools) or cut out the water.  I liked the peanut sauce so much that we might make some satay to serve with it later this week!  And I liked the wraps enough that I am already looking forward to having another for lunch tomorrow.  Yum.

Recipes after the jump!

Thai Chicken Wraps

For chicken
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tbsp peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 serrano chili, stemmed
2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts 
For wraps
4 large flour tortillas (I think ours were labeled as burrito sized)
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
handful fresh basil
Thai Peanut Sauce (see below)

Combine first 10 ingredients in mini food processor. Process until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

Rinse and dry chicken breasts.  Place in resealable plastic bag.  Pour herb marinade over chicken.  Seal plastic bag.  Marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (we did it for a full 24 hours), turning chicken occasionally.

Heat a grill pan over moderate heat. Remove chicken from marinade and cook until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a cutting board.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices.  Set aside.

Briefly heat tortillas on a hot griddle for 5 seconds per side.  Set warm tortilla down on a large plate or cutting board.  Place cabbage, carrots and bell peppers on the lower third of the tortilla.  Drizzle with Thai Peanut Sauce.  Top with sliced chicken, mint, cilantro and basil.  Drizzle with a little more Thai Peanut Sauce.  Roll up the lower edge of the tortilla to partially cover the filling.  Roll up both sides of the tortilla and continue to roll tortilla over to form a snug package/wrap.  Stab with toothpicks and cut in half.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Serve wraps with more Thai Peanut Sauce for dipping/drizzling.

Thai Peanut Sauce
Adapted from She Simmers

14 oz can coconut milk
2 oz red curry paste
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar (we used white)
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a gentle boil, stirring regularly.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

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