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Curried Chicken in Lettuce Leaves

Yield 20 appetizer servings


  • 6 medium-size dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skinned and boned chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai curry paste
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen tiny sweet green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce

How to Make It

  1. Soak mushrooms in hot water 30 minutes; drain, reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms in cold water; pat dry. Remove and discard stems; thinly slice tops. Pour reserved liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a measuring cup; reserve 1/2 cup.

  2. Slice green onions, separating green tops from white portions. Set aside.

  3. Remove excess fat from chicken. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.

  4. Sauté chicken in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large skillet 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; cool. Coarsely chop chicken. Set aside.

  5. Sauté white portion of green onions and serrano pepper in remaining 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large skillet 1 minute; add mushroom liquid, curry paste, coconut milk, and soy sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, carrot, and next 3 ingredients; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in chicken.

  6. Whisk together cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in basil and green onion tops. Serve over romaine lettuce leaves.