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story.lead_photo.caption Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Photo by Kelly Brant

Most every recipe I've seen for Southwest Asian-inspired chicken lettuce wraps calls for ground chicken and an ingredients list a page long.

I recently had a craving for such wraps, but few of the necessary ingredients. So I winged it and created this simplified version using boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

The seasoning is simple -- just soy sauce and lemongrass -- but the vegetables are what make this dish so appealing to me. Crisp lettuce and carrots, fiery chile pepper, cooling cucumber and vibrant leafy herbs.

If you have some, toss on some chopped dry-roasted peanuts for crunch. But the wraps are still good without them.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 chicken breasts, cut into small bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon lemongrass paste (see note)

Vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sweet chile sauce

6 whole leaves sturdy lettuce such as romaine

1/2 cup julienne cut carrots

1/2 cup julienne cut cucumber

1/2 red chile pepper such as Fresno, very thinly sliced

Handful or two fresh mint, basil and/or cilantro leaves, chopped

In a medium bowl, toss chicken pieces with cornstarch to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and lemongrass paste. Stir soy sauce mixture into chicken and let stand 5 minutes.

Heat just enough oil to coat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of water and cook, stirring, until a sauce forms and chicken is well-coated.

In a small bowl, whisk together a tablespoon of sweet chile sauce and a few drops soy sauce.

To serve: Spoon chicken into lettuce leaves, top with carrots, cucumber, chile pepper and herbs. Drizzle with sauce, fold and eat.

Makes 2 main-dish servings.

Note: Look for lemongrass paste such as Gourmet Garden in the produce section near the fresh herbs.

Food on 06/20/2018

Print Headline: Chicken wraps don't have to be fussy

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