Sunday, October 19, 2008

thai chicken skewer wraps

Makes 16 wraps, about 2 cups sauce
Total time: 1 hour

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
6 T. brown sugar, divided
6 T. fresh lime juice, divided
2 T. Thai red curry paste, divided
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/4"-thick strips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shallots, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T. fresh ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
16 Boston or bibb lettuce leaves
16 strips each red bell pepper and cucumber
Lime wedges

Blend cilantro, 4 T. brown sugar, 2 T. lime juice, 1 T. curry paste, pepper flakes, and salt in a food processor until smooth.  Pour over chicken, toss to coat, and marinate 10 minutes.  Preheat broiler to high with rack 6" from element; coat a broiler pan with nonstick spray.
Process 2 T. brown sugar, 4 T. lime juice, and 1 T. curry paste with peanut butter, water, shallots, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in the processor (it's not necessary to wash the bowl) until smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish.
Thread chicken onto 32 skewers.  Arrange 8 skewers on prepared pan; cover ends of skewers with foil to prevent burning.  Broil chicken in batches until browned and cooked through, 6 minutes.  

To serve, wrap a lettuce leaf around 2 strips of chicken, remove skewers, then add bell pepper and cucumber.  Drizzle with sauce and lime juice.

Per wrap:  140 calories; 31% calories from fat; 5g total fat; 9g carb; 280mg sodium; 1g fiber; 16g protein.

From Cuisine At Home magazine, Issue No. 67, February 2008 

NOTE:  The second time I made this I made a few adjustments which I ended up liking much better.  Instead of cooking the chicken like this recipe states, I sliced the pounded chicken breast into 1/4" strips and used the chinese 'velveting' technique (mix an egg white with 2 TBSP. of cornstarch and mix well, then mix in the chicken and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour -- then deep fry very quickly, about 15 seconds, and drain).  After velveting the chicken, I set it aside then made the peanut butter sauce.  Then, instead of just putting the sauce on the meat in the lettuce, I did a quick stirfry of the velveted chicken and the peanut sauce.  I then placed the chicken mixture, with the red bell pepper strips and cucumber strips, on a warmed-in-an-ironskillet flour tortilla.  I think it would still be best this way if you used the lettuce for wraps, but I needed a little more substance to my meal.

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