We’re ushering in the new year with lots of fresh flavors. I just can’t help it after this many months of winter, but I feel the need for fresh veggies and some grilling. Don’t worry though, if you’re not into grilling during an arctic blizzard, you can always cook this recipe on the stove top.
I always feel weird about doing a grilling recipe in the middle of winter. But the truth is, we grill year round whether it’s snowing and blowing, or even when it’s -20ºF, (I kind of draw the line at anything colder than that because it’s too easy for things to break at those temperatures).
But since it’s still winter, there’s definitely some comfort food elements going on here. And really I think any kind of ethnic food is my ultimate comfort food. I mean… you just can’t go wrong with anything drizzled in a creamy peanut sauce! And when you add caramelized grilled pineapple in there, I’m hooked.
To start out, you’ll want to marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, but overnight is best. I often make the marinade in the morning, and then leave the chicken in the fridge during the workday to absorb the flavors.
Next up, it’s best to prep all the veggies ahead, and have them ready to go on a platter in the fridge.
Then I make the peanut sauce, and you can either put it in a serving bowl, or pour it into a squeeze bottle for easy drizzling over the wraps.
For the grilled pineapple, I cut out the core and then cut it into 1/2″ thick slices. I find it’s easiest to grill pineapple this way because there’s no danger of the round slices falling into the grill. And it also provides maximum surface area for caramelized flavor.
And finally I like to grill the chicken and pineapple after everything is prepped because it’s nice to serve them warm in the lettuce wraps.
Then you can serve all the prepped veggies along with the grilled chicken and pineapple for everyone to individually assemble their own wraps.
And of course you need lots of creamy peanut sauce to make the whole thing come alive!
- 1 pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1½ pounds, 4-5
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 5 - ½" round slices fresh pineapple, about 1 pound, or ½ of a large pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- ½ cup your choice nut or seed butter, I like cashew or peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Teaspoons chili paste, or 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup coconut milk, from the can
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 2 heads butter lettuce, about 20-25 lettuce leaves, cleaned and dried
- 1½ cups finely shredded purple cabbage
- 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper, or ½ each orange and red peppers
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onion
- ½ cup toasted cashews
- Mix together the ingredients from the red curry grilled chicken, and place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- To make the pineapple slices, cut out the core, then slice into 5 - ½" rounds. Evenly brush the oil over both sides and set the pineapple aside.
- To make the 'peanut' sauce, combine the nut/seed butter of your choice with the maple syrup, chili paste, and coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until the mixture combines, then remove it from the heat and whisk in the lime juice, sea salt to taste, and water. Place the peanut sauce in an airtight container or squeeze bottle. If you're not using it right way, it can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Prep all the veggies for the lettuce wraps, then preheat the grill over medium high heat until a steady temperature of 350º-400ºF is reached.
- Then place the marinated chicken and oil brushed pineapple on the grill. Grill the pineapple for about 5 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and it caramelizes. When the pineapple is done, remove it from the grill and set it aside to cool a bit.
- Grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until completely done and no longer pink in the center.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and when it's cool enough to handle thinly slice it and cut the pineapple into bite sized chunks. Serve the grilled chicken slices with the pineapple, all the veggies/lettuce leaves, and the 'peanut' sauce.
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