Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Cilantro Pesto Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Cilantro Pesto Lettuce Wraps

With the start of the new year, new years resolutions and such, and participating in the Paleo/Primal Fuel Challenge, I have been extremely domesticated.  Most of my (sparse) free time is spent on cooking, experimenting with different recipes, and coming up with new ones... more specifically recipes that don't take more than 45 minutes to cook, including prep time.
My chicken cilantro-pesto lettuce wraps is a twist on the popular beefy lettuce tacos recipe.  I haven't shared a recipe in awhile, so I hope you enjoy this one!

I also tried this recipe with walnuts instead of pine nuts.  I think I prefer pine nuts.. but that maybe because I don't like walnuts as much.  Some onion powder to the pesto is also tasty.  I've also tried it with guacamole as the only topping and that was really good... but I can put guacamole on anything and think it's delicious... same with Thai chili peppers.

Tools:

Ingredients for the Cilantro-Pesto:
  • 1 Free-range Rotisserie Chicken, or a few cooked pieces of chicken, maybe like 4 cut, chopped
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Pine Nuts (more if you want a nuttier pesto)
  • 4-5 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Macadamia Nut Oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Stock (broth works too)
  • Salt and Pepper
Ingredients for the Toppings:
  • Butter Lettuce
  • 2 Avocados, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Onion stalk, chopped

Instructions:
  1. Gather all ingredients.  Separate the cilantro leaves.
    2. Toppings.  Forgot to photograph the red onions and jalapenos.
  2. In the food processor, blend the cilantro leaves, pine nuts, and garlic until you get a smooth, creamy texture.  A few minutes.
    3. Making the pesto.
  3. Transfer contents to a mixing bowl.  Add the macadamia nut oil and chicken stock.  Stir until desired texture.  Add more oil or chicken stock as you please.  Add salt and pepper.
    4. Cilantro-pesto pre-chicken.
  4. Add in the warm, cooked, chopped chicken.  I like to mix the chicken in with how much pesto I plan on eating.  I also like it when the chicken pieces are hot and the pesto is cold or at room temperature.  My friends seem to prefer cold chicken and cold pesto.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.
    5. Adding in the Rotisserie chicken.
  5. On a butter lettuce leaf, put some chicken cilantro-pesto and your toppings.  I used avocados, tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, and green onions.  Serve and enjoy!
    6. Enjoy!

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