We are smack dab in the middle of Michigan’s roller coaster Spring weather. Although it was a sunny, balmy 72 degrees the other day, it is now in the 40s and Michiganders know that we could still get snow between now and the end of April. Soup and sandwiches are key standbys for me during the kind of up and down temperatures we get through March and April.
When you want to spend more time outdoors, have sandwich ingredients on hand so you can keep dinner simple. Add soup, if you’d like, when the sun goes down and it starts to cool off. This Asian Chicken Tortilla Wrap is fusion cuisine at it’s best. I like to make this from a roasted chicken brought home from the store.
Allen used to love to pick up a roasted chicken for us on his way home from work. But I used to always tease him: “Huh; how come they only sell roasted chickens without wings when you go shopping?!” It didn’t matter if he stopped at the local grocery store, Costco, or a high-end market. By the time the chicken made it in the door, the wings had flown (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun).
Allen just smiled as he licked the grease off of his lips and fingers. Not once did a roasted chicken make it home with wings intact!
So, Dear Allen, this is for you: one of your favorite sandwiches. I can’t make it without smiling and thinking of you and your wingless chickens.
I think I originally got this recipe, prior to modifying it, from Eating Well or Cooking Light. When I tried to find it online, it didn’t pop up anymore, probably because it is such an old recipe.
I have also made this from leftover chicken breasts or even from canned, well-drained chicken. The good thing is, if you have extra filling left over, you can just eat it out of the bowl like a salad. The bad thing is that you can’t make it too far ahead or the filling gets soggy. But I have prepped ahead by making the sauce and chicken filling separately. then I refrigerated it until needed and assembled the wraps before serving.
Make the filling by tossing the chicken with green onions, sesame seeds and crunchy iceberg lettuce. You need the kind of lettuce that doesn’t get soggy soon as the dressing hits it. You could also substitute thinly sliced cabbage if so desired.
Stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and oils. Combine the sauce with the chicken mixture.
Lay tortillas out assembly line style and have the chow mein noodles handy. I like whole wheat tortillas, but I think the original recipe used white flour tortillas. I would not use spinach or or sundried tomato because I think it would fight with the subtle flavor of the chicken filling, but, hey, you can try anything you’d like.
Scoop the chicken filling onto one half of the tortilla, sprinkle on chow mein noodles, and roll up into a cylinder. To make it less messy, you can place the chicken in a dollop in the middle of the tortilla, add the noodles, fold up the ends, then roll it up like a burrito.
If the sun is down and it is getting chilly, warm up some canned tomato soup to round out the menu. Slice in half to serve with plenty of napkins.
This is Asian-Mexican-American all together. Good old fashioned deli potato salad would be great, also. Just don’t forget to pick up one of those wingless chickens at the grocery store!
ASIAN CHICKEN TORTILLA WRAPS
- 1/2 half large head of iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
- 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken or 2-3 cans chicken breast, packed in water (12.5 oz each)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 can chow mein noodles
- 8 flour tortillas, whole wheat or white
Combine lettuce, canned chicken, green onions, and sesame seed. Mix brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar together; stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add oils, stir, and set aside. Refrigerate both mixtures separately until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
When ready to serve, combine dressing with chicken mixture and put on one side of tortilla shell. Sprinkle the chow mein noodles over top and roll up in a cylinder. Serve immediately.