New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps CrockPot Recipe




Day 49.


The first time I had lettuce wraps was in Tempe, Arizona at a PF Changs. I had heard about them from friends who raved that they were the "best thing ever"--I was not disappointed. I had to ask for more napkins though, these puppies are pretty messy.



So very worth it.



I am a fan of PF Changs, because of their elaborate gluten-free menu. Even their lettuce wraps are made gluten-free, with a specially prepared GF sauce. The fact that this restaurant chain goes out of their way to label their food and are aware of dietary restrictions warms my heart. The only drawback of PF Chang's awesomeness is how crowded it can become.




Stay home instead and gobble up these lettuce wraps in the comfort of your own home---with a roll of paper towels by your side.




The Ingredients:



--4 chicken breast halves or 10-12 chicken breast tenders
--5 chopped cloves of garlic
--1/2 chopped onion
--1/4 cup soy sauce (if gluten free, go for La Choy or Tamari wheat free)
--1/4 cup white wine
--1/2 t ginger
--dash of allspice (or a dash each of cloves, cinnamon and black pepper)
--2 T balsamic vinegar


The Directions:

--chop up chicken into teeny tiny chunks. After I compiled my concoction, I googled how to "really" make this and discovered that most recipes call for ground chicken, turkey, or pork. That probably would have been easier. And I wouldn't have had to sterilize myself quite as much afterwards.

the things I do for you all.


--chop up the onions and garlic, dump into crockpot on top of the meat
--in a mixing bowl, mix the liquid and spices





(on a side note, check out my super-cool spice cabinet Adam made yesterday out of the ironing-board cabinet) it's not alphabetized. yet.

















--pour sauce on top of meat


cover and cook for 4-6 hours on high, 6-8 on low. I did stir this a few times to break up the chicken--it wanted to stick together at first.


--serve over lettuce leaves. I chose Romaine, because Trader Joe's sells them already separated and it makes me happy.


--If you are not gluten free, top with a bottled plum sauce. If you are, try mixing a bit of GF soy suace with some grape jelly.



The Verdict:

These tasted great. I would have liked a bit more crunch, though, and will add some water chestnuts and green onion next time.



We had company over and everyone enjoyed them. The kids were too busy running around like crazy people to stop and give them a try.
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32 comments:

Tara said...

This one looks yummy!

Damsel said...

It does look yummy!

I have your fish chowder recipe in the crock pot at home today. I'm so excited! :)

Doodlebug said...

Yum-O. I will definitely have to try this! I love my crock pot too!

Thanks for joining the give away. Don't forget to post about it here in order to qualify! Good luck!

kay said...

another winnner!! thanks for all the chopping you do for us. we really, really appreciate it!

kay said...

have you thought about putting all of these together in a cookbook? (at the end of the year of course!)

i would buy it!

Merci-Notes said...

hello!
I thank you for all of the time to sterilize your hands after cutting the chicken. When I was first married i wore rubber gloves when handling poultry! It cut down on the sterilization time And wear and tear on my hands! I am braver now, but my hands have the battle scars! hahaha
My crock pot is STILL missing in action!

With Kindness,
Mary

Crockpot Lady said...

thanks tara!

oh! let me know what you think, damsel!

will-do, doodlebug.

thank you, kay.

Merci-Notes said...

Can you recommend a crockpot?
(see previous post for why.

With Kindness,
Mary

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Merci-Notes,

I have only used Rival brand crockpots. The one I am currently using is a 6qt "smart pot"--I love it. It has settings for 4, 6, 8 and 10 hours and then will automatically switch to warm when the alotted time is finished. It cost about $40 at Target. Sandra, from Diary of a SAHM just received this crockpot from Rival (totally jealous) and is loving it.

Some of the different brands have a locking device to keep the lid on, which I would really like to have--I sloshed all over the place bringing a full pot to my mom's last night. But I haven't seen a Rival with that option yet. And after trying the Presto, I'm scared to venture away from a Rival.

laurie said...

I am enjoying your blog and marvel and how you really are pulling off all those crock pot recipes! I am trying these lettuce wraps as they are my daughter's fav. at PF Changs. I have the same ironing board/spice cabinet...it is great. Mine is alphabetized...until once when my husband didn't think my jars fit totally tidy and "reorganized" it for me...he learned quite a lesson!

Merci-Notes said...

Thank You Stephanie!
My original was a Rival and now I know I will be getting a Rival! Thank You So Very Much!
Hmm. I think that Pea Pod should make a regular trip to you door, or how about
Whole foods? You deserve a "treat" also! :)
With Kindness,
Mary

Canadian Saver said...

This looks yummy :-) As always!!

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

One of my fave foods of all time. I'm gonna try this this weekend!

Renee said...

I have already tried at least 4 of your recipes...yummy! My question is on how you would add the water chestnuts and scallions. Before or add them at the end for the crunch. I plan on making these this week and can.not.wait.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Renee, I'm glad that you are enjoying yourself and that I can be of some help to your family. Cooked water chestnuts still retain their crunch, so go ahead and add them at cooking time. I'm not sure about the green onion---maybe closer to the end of cooking time?

--steph

suzi said...

Hey all! I used to work for PF Chang's (shhh, don't tell, cause I'm probably not supposed to let you in on their "secret" recipe). What they do for their lettuce wraps is use ground chicken, then they grind water chestnuts with shiitake mushrooms until it's a pretty coarse mixture...at home, I would stick it in the food processor or blender for a couple seconds cause I'm too lazy to do all that chopping! The green onions are added in the final tosses of the wok, so in the crock, I'd stir them in at the very end. I'm happy to say I've been lettuce wrap-free for a year now (after eating them practically daily for years, this is a good thing!), but I do crave them so will be trying this out for sure! Thanks, Steph!

Anonymous said...

I made this the other day (before I saw the post from the ex-PFC employee). I used the fine dice blade on my dicer to fine dice the onions and garlic, as well as some water chestnuts, mushrooms and zuchini (just to add more veggies). I bought the green onions to add at the end, but forgot them! I ate it as a lettuce wrap, and the guys ate it salad-style. Another instant hit!

ALISHA JOY said...

I just made these tonight with ground turkey. I don't think the ground turkey worked. I did add pine nuts and water chestnuts. The flavor was awesome but the turkey kind of dried out and was too crumbly (and we are big ground turkey eaters). I just read all the reviews and next time I will try the tricks from the ex PF chang employee. And I will use ground chicken

suzi said...

Hi again! I made these the other night. I used ground turkey (frozen solid as a rock!). I coarsely ground my shiitakis and water chestnuts in my food processor and added them at the beginning. I minced the garlic and some shallot in the processor, too. Easy peasy. We were going to eat dinner while watching a movie, so I decided to make this into more of a salad than a wrap, even though I had iceburg lettuce specifically for it to be like at Chang's (normally I only buy romaine or leaf lettuce...). I chopped my lettuce and added chopped cilantro. I used a dressing similar to the ingredients of Chang's "special" sauce: soy, vinegar, chili oil, chili paste, hot mustard. I added the green onions during the last 10 minutes in the crock and also added some raw to the salad. Three out of four of us loved this. My 7-year-old son decided he liked the meat part, but didn't like the lettuce. Funny, cause iceburg was the only "salad" lettuce he would eat between the ages of 2-5 (most of my stint as a PF Chang's employee). Anyway, he enjoyed his pb&j :) (again). The rest of us, including my 7-year-old daughter (yes, they're twins as in they were conceived, gestated and born at the same time...that's where the similarities end) loved this. What an easy, carefree way to make lettuce wraps. Thanks for another great recipe, Steph!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the website, I recently dropped a knife block on top of my smooth top stove and shattered it, been trying to grill in below zero weather too cold, so have pulled out the old crock pot, I see I will be inspired until my new stove comes in. To think I was grieving my stove until now.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I got around to making these! They were a hit. I added about 8 chopped up water chestnuts but will add more next time. I didn't add mushrooms because I just don't like them. We added a little extra soy sauce and some rice vinegar when we were making the wraps. I put some spring onions in but cooked them too long in there at the end.

They were very similar to PF CHang. We'll do this again!

Thanks, Steph!
Kelley

Wendy said...

Just tried making these for the first time--I had frozen chicken breasts and just put them in whole (and frozen) with the sauce for 4 hours on low, took them out and put them in the food processor. It ground them up perfectly! Then put it back in the sauce on low for another 4 hours. Perfect! I added a bit of red pepper flakes for some heat. Thanks for a yummy recipe!

Rebecca said...

This recipe saved me yesterday. I was supposed to have a new stove installed by BestBuy. Stove delivered and installed ... WITHOUT BURNERS. (yes, you read that correctly)

Anyway, whipped up this dish in the CrockPot (and used some of the excellent input from your readers!). Husband and I loved it -- dinner was saved :-)

DotMom said...

I know this is an older post, but I just had to add my YUM! to the comments already here. This was really good, and we'll be having them again.

The only complaint I have is that I got a blister on my index finger from chopping up all that chicken!! rofl Maybe this will be a good excuse to get a new knife. ;-)

Incidentally, I used dried mushrooms that I chopped up in the food processor, and I didn't add the water chestnuts until everything was almost done. Oh, and I forgot the green onions. I missed them. I won't forget next time!

Finally, skip the Trader Joe Tokyo Style Soba Noodles ... ew ew ew ... just say no.

Sammy Dee said...

My family does something similar to this, but we make it a build-your-own affair and eat them as either lettuce wraps or spring rolls. We also add tasty things like bean sprouts and peanut sauce to it. So good!

Jen said...

I made these tonight! YUMMY!!! I got a slow cooker for my birthday and found your site looking for recipes. This was the first one I tried. I have bookmarked like 20 other ones to try. Thank you for making it so easy

ViolentFemme said...

I made these for game day today. I used ground turkey and added the water chestnuts right at the start. I left for work, came home 6 hours later and the turkey was pretty much still in its loaf form. I stirred it to break it up, which happened easily. These are not pretty and they are very messy but so worth it. Delish!

TannaB said...

Have you found plum jam lately?? I can't find it but do love them without but would really like to try with the plum sauce and I have to make it b/c we are GF!Thanks

dawniawnie said...

I bought whole chicken breast and did NOT want to cut it all up. I used my pampered ch*f salad chopper after cutting the whole breasts down a bit. Worked wonderfully. I also added 1 whole small can chopped water chestnuts. They were yummy! I think I'll try adding some mushrooms finely chopped during cooking and sprinkling some green onions on meat just before eating next time.

jessica.mae said...

I am definately going to have to make these! those look great! and all the other recipes i have found for the lettuce wraps have asked for some pretty wild ingrediants!

Murfy said...

So I made this tonight...Instead of lettuce wraps, I cooked the chicken then shredded it. I threw it in some rice noodles and asparagus and make some extra sauce for it. My 5 year old and 2 year old ate it all up! They loved it. I have no idea how close it tastes to PF Changs, we have egg and peanut allergy so Chinese food is out for us, but it was pretty tasty.

Christina said...

If you don't have issues w/sesame, this is also really good to have sesame seeds sprinkled on top for some added asian flavour and little crunchy bits!

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