This is a fun an little sneaky way to add in some veggies by using a lettuce cup. I don’t ever buy the Boston lettuce, but I might start I really liked these little leaves. The dish needs a little more sauce so you can taste it better so be sure you drizzle more on top if you are pre-making them or have some extra on the side to dip in.  

Grilled Hoisin Chicken in Lettuce Cups
(Adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking Appetizers 2011)

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1/3 cup hoisin sauce
4 tsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. soy sauce
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.), untrimmed; rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt
1 large head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil (about 20 large leaves)
1 cup loosely packed torn fresh mint (about 1-3/4 oz. bunch)
1 bunch scallions (whites and most of the greens), thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts1 fresh jalapeño or other small hot chile, very thinly sliced crosswise (optional)

Heat a gas grill to medium high. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.


In a larger bowl, season the chicken with 1 tsp. salt and 2 Tbs. of the hoisin mixture.


Arrange the lettuce leaves, basil, and mint separately on a platter and put the scallions, peanuts, and jalapeño slices (if using) in small serving bowls.


Grill the chicken thighs, covered, until well browned and beginning to blacken around the edges, about 5 minutes (rotate the chicken 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side for the most even cooking). Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes more per side. Let the chicken rest for 8 to 10 minutes and then chop into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice.


Transfer the chopped chicken to a serving bowl, add the remaining hoisin mixture, and toss to coat thoroughly. Put the bowl on the table with a serving spoon, along with the platter of lettuce and herbs and the condiments.


To eat, spoon the chicken onto the middle of a lettuce leaf, top with basil, mint, scallions, peanuts, and jalapeño (if using), and roll the edges of the lettuce leaves up and around the filling and garnishes.

Serving Suggestions

For an interesting hors d’oeuvre, spoon the chicken into very small lettuce leaves, garnish, and set on a platter.


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