Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Sometimes I notice weird trends in my posts.
For example, did you know that this week is, apparently, dishes that look like slop in a bowl but end up being delicious? Mushroom burgers yesterday? Slop in a bowl. These homemade chicken sausages? Slop in a bowl.
But you guys voted for them so I just made them!
Halfway through this recipe I almost cancelled my Bon Appetit subscription because I was sure this was a flop, but it all worked out in the end. They turned out to be perfect!
Chicken Sausage Lettuce Wraps
Yield: 8 lettuce wraps
1 pound ground chicken, I like dark meat
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 Serrano pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 large shallots, minced
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime, juice only
1/2 Serrano pepper, diced
2 tablespoons water
Food processor if you want to make your own ground chicken.
1) For dipping sauce, whisk ingredients together and set aside until needed.
2) Combine fish sauce, oyster sauce, diced shallots, garlic, and chiles along with flour in a medium bowl. Stir until mixed well.
3) If you are making your own ground chicken, Remove skin from thighs and/or breasts (1 lb total). If you want, leave some skin on for fat. Pulse in a food processor until slightly chunky.
4) Add ground chicken to other ingredients and stir well to combine.
5) Shape chicken mixture into 8 even patties.
6) Add a drizzle of vegetable oil to a large skillet and cook chicken sausages over medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes per side until they are cooked through.
7) Once sausages are cooked, add them to clean leaves of lettuce and top with bean sprouts and scallions. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.
Recipe from Bon Appetit, September 2012
Making the Sausage
If you can find good ground chicken, you can definitely use it. For my money, I don’t like the super-lean stuff just because I don’t think it has much flavor so I made my own on this occasion.
If you don’t want to take this step, I get it, but I think you can give the sausage a bit more flavor this way.
I just bought some boneless chicken thighs and cut the skin off of about half of the thighs. Then I threw them all in my food processor!
I left the skin on some of the thighs to give some fat to the final ground chicken mixture.
Pulse this mixture until it is coarsely ground. I noticed some of my chicken skin didn’t get completely pulsed so I just picked out the big pieces.
Generally, this worked great. Again, not a step you need to take. You could use ground turkey or chicken if you wanted to skip this step.
Besides the ground chicken, there are some strange ingredients in this sausage mixture. Fish sauce, oyster sauce, etc.
You might not be too familiar with these things and I don’t recommend trying them by themselves because they have a pretty strong flavor. When mixed in with the other ingredients in the sausage mixture though, they will end up giving the sausages an incredibly delicious savory flavor.
This is what all of my ingredients looked like mixed together before I added my chicken.
I show it to you not to impress you, but so you don’t think you are doing something wrong when you end up with this strange mixture in a bowl.
Then add in your chicken. The mixture will be really wet which is fine.
If it’s soupy then add in a bit more flour by the tablespoon. The mixture should generally hold its shape, but it will be sticky.
Again, not the most appetizing bowl of food, but the end result tastes great so whatever.
When shaping this mixture into patties, keep them on the small side. You should get about eight out of the mixture. It also helps to have your hands wet so the mixture doesn’t just stick to them.
Once your patties are formed, let them rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes so they can firm up a bit and also so the flavors can meld.
Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the dipping sauce. This stuff is simple, but addictive.
Also, prep your greens for the lettuce wraps. Pick a sturdy lettuce like Romaine for wrap itself and make sure they are clean and dry.
I also sliced some scallions thinly and go some sprouts ready.
Cooking the Patties
When you are ready to cook the patties, add a drizzle of oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
Scoop in the patties (work in batches) and sear the patties for about 6-7 minutes per side until they are cooked through. Obviously, because it is chicken, you want to make sure that they are completely cooked.
There is a lot of flavor and moisture in these sausages though so don’t worry too much about over-cooking them. That’s pretty hard to do.
Once your patties are cooked through, let them cool for a minute or two and then stick each one in a piece of lettuce with some sprouts and scallions.
These would be really delicious as an appetizer, but honestly, Betsy and I ate them as a full meal.
The slightly spicy and savory sausage went perfectly with the crunchy veggies.
I had my concerns about this recipe at various stages, but they turned out great.