Monday, May 14, 2012

Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap

You guys, I have been sitting on this recipe for Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps for nearly ten months. It was one of the first recipes I prepared after moving in with Stephen last summer.

That's right. Last summer. Back when strawberries were in season, high in quality, and readily available in both grocery stores and farmers' markets.

Now that this year's strawberry season is just around the corner (and since May is National Strawberry Month), I think it's about time I share the recipe with you... Don't you?



Strawberry Chicken Salad - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Strawberry Chicken Salad

Adapted from a recipe for Strawberry Chicken Salad with Mixed Greens and Walnuts that I discovered in my copy of Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals, these fresh and flavorful lettuce wraps are perfect for a light lunch with the ladies or an easy evening meal that can be put together in no time. And, with summer quickly approaching, I know some of you will be looking for recipe ideas that can be prepared without turning on the oven!

Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go
Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap

If you're going to use the Bibb lettuce, as I have done, then I highly recommend using a double layer (or even a triple layer!) of lettuce to prevent the delicate leaves from tearing under the weight of the grilled chicken. You can also use Belgian endive leaves or Romaine hearts depending on your personal preference.

Or, if you'd rather skip the lettuce altogether, just spoon the chicken salad into a small mound onto the center of a salad plate and eat it as is. Really, all of these serving options will work.

And if you need a little more convincing to try this recipe for yourself, here's what Stephen had to say after having just one bite: "This is the best damn strawberry chicken thing you ever had, bitches."

'Nuff said.

Strawberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Printable Recipe


INGREDIENTS
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced, divided
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • Bibb lettuce leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pat each chicken breast dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken breast in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until you can see that half of each chicken breast has started to turn white. Turn each chicken breast and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes. (The pan will not be as hot, so you will have to cook the chicken a bit longer on the second side.)

  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest 1-2 minutes. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice the chicken and place in a large bowl, including the juices.

  4. Add 1 cup strawberries, celery, and chives to the bowl with the chicken. Set aside.

  5. In a small bowl, add whisk together the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and cornstarch until there are no lumps. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of strawberries and toss until the strawberries are coated. This is a dressing of sorts, so it's okay to crush the strawberries slices with the back of a spoon here.

  6. Add the "dressing" to the large bowl with the chicken mixture and toss gently with your fingers to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. 

  7. Arrange Bibb lettuce leaf (or stacked leaves, if you're going to use more than one as recommended) on a plate. Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce and sprinkle with the chopped cashews just before serving.

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