It has been hot hot hot where we live in the recent weeks and I have been craving the fresh, juicy and a little bit spicy tastes of summer.
Last night I made pineapple basil chicken lettuce boats and they were…amazing. Light and refreshing but also totally filling. I will be making this a LOT this summer.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in 3/4″ cubes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 pineapple
- 1 head of cauliflower
- half of a large vidalia onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- large handful of basil
- 6 large romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 lemon
For the terayaki-ish marinade:
- soy sauce
- fish sauce
- brown sugar
- rice wine vinegar
- sesame oil
The chicken cooks quickly so I prepared everything in advance while the chicken sat in the marinade for about an hour…but could be as little as twenty minutes.
Cube the chicken and then prepare the marinade. I tend to eye and taste this to make it to my liking before adding the chicken so the measurements aren’t exact. About 1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce, a few squirts of fish sauce, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of mirin, a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, the zest and juice of one lemon, a one inch knob of ginger grated, and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix it all up and add the chicken.
While that marinates, rice the cauliflower (buzz it in the food processor for a bit), slice the pineapple, cut the onion, slice the red pepper and finely dice the skin of one jalapeno pepper (and unless you are brave, avoid the seeds). I also wash the lettuce at this point, too.
When you are ready to cook, divide the cut onion into two batches (for cooking chicken and for cooking “rice”). You will need two pans for this part. I suggest a high sided pan for the rice and a saute pan for the chicken. Add oil to both pans and, once hot, add the onion. Let it cook until translucent. In one pan, add the rice with salt and pepper. In the other, add the chicken, reserving the marinade for later. Cook one side of the chicken until browned and then flip the chicken. It will cook quickly so don’t go too far. Pour in half of the marinade and discard the rest. When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the rest of the ingredients to the chicken and cook until the pineapple begins to brown. The rice will take about the same amount of time to warm through.
To plate, fill the lettuce boats with cauliflower rice and then top with the chicken mixture. Serve and enjoy!