Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients For Chicken
1-1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken Thighs
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
1/8 – 1/4 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, adjust to your liking
1/2 Cup Hot Water mixed with 1/4 of a Chicken Bouillon Cube
1/2 Cup Water Chestnuts, Diced
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1-1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. White Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Corn Starch
1 Head Butter Lettuce, Wash and Leaves Separated
Ingredients For Mediterranean Slaw Topping
1 Large Carrot, Cut into 1-1/2″ long matchsticks
1 Large Red Pepper, Cut into 1-1/2″ long matchsticks
1/2 of 1 Fennel Bulb, layers separated, cut into 1″ long sticks
1/3 Cup Green Onion, Chopped
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Note About The Slaw: If you are in a pinch, you can shred the ingredients in a food processor, or simply buy a bag of readymade carrot and cabbage slaw, this is a great substitute. If you do make this substitution, you will want to use 3-4 cups of pre-packaged slaw and you will want to play with the ratio of vinegar and oil.
Ingredients for Lettuce Wrap Drizzle
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
1/4 Tsp. Salt
Feta Crumbles, Diced Kalamata Olives,
Roughly Chopped Fresh Dill, Fresh Parsley Leaves and Mint Leaves
Prepare The Chicken
Heat a large skillet over Medium Heat for about a minute, add the Olive Oil, after about 30 seconds add the Onion and sprinkle with a bit of Salt . Sautee the Onion for about 3 minutes, when it begins to look translucent, add the Garlic, Oregano (rubbing it between your fingers as you sprinkle it in so that the thick pieces breakdown) and Red Pepper Flakes. Stir together with the onions for about 1 minute, then add the Chicken, breaking it up as you add it to the pan. Give the mixture a stir here and there, crumbling the meat with a potato masher if you have one, this will give you great even crumbles! After 4-5 minutes remove about 6 tablespoons of fat from the pan and then add the Water with Bouillon, Water Chestnuts, Lemon Juice, Salt and White Pepper to the Chicken Mixture. Bring the contents of the pan to a simmer and cook until the Chicken no longer shows any pink. Next sprinkle the Cornstarch over the whole mixture and stir it into the meat, you will instantly see the liquid thicken. At this point taste the meat and adjust the seasonings. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. The meat can be prepared a day or two in advance and warmed up in a low oven.
Prepare The Slaw
Using a sharp chef’s knife, prepare all of the veggies and toss together in a bowl. Keep chilled in the fridge until you are ready to serve. When the time has come to eat, sprinkle the veggies with the Salt and drizzle with the Vinegar and Olive Oil, toss and taste, adjust the seasonings to your liking!
Prepare the Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Drizzle
In a jar with a tight fitting lid add all 4 ingredients. Close tightly and shake vigorously until well combined. This can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge. Take it out at least an hour before serving so that it is room temperature, put into a serving vessel, such as a gravy boat, or something with a small spoon, so that people can drizzle this on top of their wraps. This dressing is a household staple in Greek Cuisine, you will find that Greeks drizzle it on top of most grilled meats, from chicken, to lamb to pork kebabs, try it at your next BBQ!
Prepare any or all of the garnishes listed above. They all add a different element of salty and fresh to the Lettuce Wrap! Prepare some of them or none them, I think the wraps are just as good with only the slaw and the lemon-olive oil drizzle!
Serving The Lettuce Wraps
I suggest serving these family style! Use a large platter as your base, place a serving bowl in the center with the Chicken Mixture, next to it place the dish with the Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Drizzle as well as a dish with the Slaw. Now place the Lettuce Leaves around the bowls. If you have room on the platter you may add small dishes with the garnishes, otherwise, place those around the table for people to pick from. To make the wrap, scoop a couple of spoonfuls of ground chicken into a lettuce cup, drizzle with the lemon-olive oil sauce, top with slaw and any other toppings!