Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chicken Wraps with Slaw

This is a summery and refreshing wrap sandwich that I’ve made before, but it had been a while. I had plenty cabbage left over from a huge farmer’s market find, and I was looking for a tasty place to use it. I also had plenty (plenty!!) of mint from my own somewhat-controlled planting. The original recipe called for poblano chiles, which I love, but I happened to have a large green bell pepper, also from the farmer’s market, and plenty of jalapenos from my own garden. I figured that together, they’d make a suitable substitute for the poblano. After all, poblanos are kind of like skinny, spicy bell peppers. A mix of bell peppers and jalapenos ought to fool a simple wrap sandwich, ought it not?

This wrap is basically a layer of boldly flavored cabbage slaw topped with grilled chicken (or chicken cooked however you want to). The slaw is a bit intense to be served on its own as a side salad, but some chicken and a tortilla balance that intensity quite well. You could use some other protein if you want. I think this would be a good base for a fish taco if that’s how you prefer to roll.

The original recipe contained all lemon juice, but I thought some lime would be right at home. It did turn out to be a good flavor addition that goes well with the chile and mint, but I think that if you use what you have, whether it be lime juice, lemon juice, or even orange juice or a mild vinegar, you’re still going to have a great slaw for your wrap. The slaw is a bit juicy, so I’d recommend allowing the vegetables to stand in the dressing for a while to absorb the flavors, then draining a lot of that dressing when you place the slaw on the tortilla to avoid a sloppy sandwich.

This is a relatively simple dish to put together for all the flavor punch it gives. The leftovers are good, too. Just store the slaw and chicken separately and assemble the wraps when you get hungry. It also worked well to make a wrap with well-drained slaw, bundle it tightly in plastic wrap and carry it in a rigid container as part of a brown-bag lunch. Well, my lunch bag is pink, but you get the idea. And this idea has an open field of variations available, especially if you have an open field of great vegetables to choose from for your slaw.

Chicken Wraps with Spicy Citrus-Mint Slaw
Based on a recipe in Cooking Light, May 2003

I used grilled chicken breast to make my wraps, but you could use chicken cooked however you like or even a different protein.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
½ cup chopped fresh mint
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
about 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, seasoned and cooked as desired and cooled
flour tortillas 

1. Combine lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

2. Add the cabbage, bell pepper, mint and jalapeno. Toss well to coat. Let stand for 20 minutes or so if you have the time, tossing occasionally.

3. Thinly slice the cooked chicken. To assemble the wraps, drain some of the slaw of dressing (to avoid sloppiness). Spread the slaw on a flour tortilla. Place a few chicken slices on top of the slaw layer and roll up.

Makes about 6 wraps with “burrito-size” tortillas. Store leftover chicken and slaw separately and assemble wraps as needed.

One year ago: Apricot and Raspberry Tart with Crumble Topping

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