Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups with Rainbow Slaw

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The current heatwave in NYC has me thinking about summer cooking.  Salads, slaws and sandwiches replace the slow braises, soups and stews of winter. They’ll be back soon enough. For now, it’s all about minimalism. These lettuce wraps go above and beyond the sum of their parts. Ground chicken or turkey is perked up with Thai-inspired flavors (don’t know what the heck to do with fish sauce? Now’s your chance). The colorful, tangy slaw does double-duty as a topping, or alongside summertime barbecue. This actually travels surprisingly well for office lunches and picnics. Simply pack all the components separately. It’s just as good warm as it is cold from the fridge.

And in this weather, there’s not chance I’m slaving over the stove.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups with Rainbow Slaw
Serves 4

For the Chicken Lettuce Cups:

  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or coconut oil
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk spring garlic, white and light green parts, minced OR 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • Chopped fresh mint, for garnish

For the Rainbow Slaw:

  • 3 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 green apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook about 5 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another minute, stirring. Add the ground chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add about half the dressing to the pan and stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  3. For the Slaw: In a large bowl, combine the veggies and apple. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Spoon the chicken mixture into the lettuce leaves and top with spoonful of slaw. Garnish with mint and sliced scallion. Serve with extra slaw.

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