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Chicken Lettuce Wraps (291)

I watched the Inaugural Parade for the first time today and I have to say that I was really impressed with the CNN/Facebook comment feed. I was watching Obama’s younger daughter looking totally bored and grouchy and I just had to laugh. I can imagine my own grouchy, grumpy kids pouting during a long and busy day full of screaming people. No thanks!

Today I’m having something I’ve made a couple times before, Costco chicken lettuce wraps. The price of the chickens have gone up about a dollar in the last year and the size of the chickens seem smaller to me as well. If you look carefully, you’ll see that’s been happening to everything over the last couple of years. Prices either stay the same or go up ever so slightly while the packaging gets smaller and smaller. Anyway, these lettuce wraps are one of my favorite ways to use up excess Costco Chicken.

I know it looks like there are olives in the box, but those are actually black grapes. The flesh is very crisp, almost crunchy if you buy them fresh, but the skin is rather bitter so my kids don’t really like these. I’d buy grapes at Costco if they weren’t so expensive all the time. These were from Foodland. Read on to see how I made the wraps.

To start, I finely dice about 3/4 cup of Costco chicken. I used a pair of kitchen shears to make this go faster. I added about half a handful each of diced red and orange bell pepper, about 10 chopped cilantro leaves, crushed pepper, and then about a tablespoon of mayonnaise.

The lettuce I use is romaine hearts from Costco. They come in a huge bag of like six heads for around $5.49 or so. I buy one and give half to Grandma J to make better use of it. I try to choose leaves that aren’t the outermost leaves, but a little more towards the core when the tips start curling inwards. Using leaves too close to the core leave you with not enough “cup” to spoon the chicken mixture into.

De-bone the leaves about halfway down. You need to leave at least one “flap” of the leaf on to wrap around the chicken. If you don’t debone enough, you can just make a small slice up the middle to separate the two sides, making wrapping easier.

Next, spoon some of the chicken mixture into the top area of the leaf. Sorry for the messy picture and my grody hands. If you look at my pointer, I sliced it on a stray razor in the bathroom drawer! *sob*

Break off one bottom flap and tuck that end in, folding over the remaining flap to wrap things up. I secured my wraps this morning with toothpicks, but this was the first time I had to do this. I think my lettuces were just bored and kept slouching in the box, so I had to pin them down.

I have baby carrots propping the wraps up underneath so that they’d display well. In the middle, I added three raspberries for color.

I ate out a LOT this past weekend. Friday my in-laws took us out to dinner since my mom was in town unexpectedly. We ate at Kabuki. Saturday was my brother’s birthday so we took him to eat lunch at Big City Diner. We were really annoyed to find out that half their menu isn’t served on the weekends during the day. Who does that? We had to pick from their really sparse “Weekend Brunch” menu. Sunday me and Mr. Pikko went out for our anniversary to d.k. steakhouse in Waikiki and I had an $80 steak, which we shared. I’ve got food pictures from like 6 restaurants backed up waiting for me to write about them so I think from now on I’ll just post my restaurant reviews on the forums. I’ll just link to them when I write them up. The steak pictures came out terrible because of the low lighting and my camera’s crappy overexposing flash.

Mr. Pikko gave me a new mouse and a really cool cast iron frying pan, which I can’t wait to use for making breakfast. I must see if this thing is Pikko Proof when it comes to cooking eggs. I’m really happy with the mouse. My old one was driving me crazy and I kept shaking it in a furious rage whenever it wouldn’t go where I wanted it to. He had told me that he’d bring me one from work and luckily I didn’t know how to say, “I kinda want a new one…” in a tactful way because apparently I announced my dire need for a new one the day after he ordered it for me. He installed it while I took a short nap yesterday, what a sweetie! ^_^