Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups Recipe!


Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Chicken in Lettuce Cups is a fun casual meal for family or friends.

This juicy dish is served family style, and to be eaten with your hands.

Roll your sleeves up, grab some napkins, and dig in!

We Love these, and hope you give it a try!


Sweet & Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Makes Appetizers for 4, or Dinner for 2

* Equipment:

Large Wok or medium sauté pan

Tongs, wood paddle, chef knife

Little bowls or dishes for fixings


3 T oil (peanut or Sunflower is preferred)

6 boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup flour placed in soup bowl or mixing bowl

1 T chopped Ginger

2 T Honey

1 T Hoisin

1 T Ketchup

1/2 Lime- juice only

1 T light soy sauce

1 T Marie Sharp’s [or your fave] mild hot sauce

1/4 cup water

Side Condiments:

1/4 cup sliced scallions (optional)

1/4 cup lightly chopped cilantro

1/4 cup choice of diced pineapple, red pepper, carrot, onion, chopped peanuts, etc as condiments (as few or as many as you like)

20 lettuce cups (butter or bib lettuce, or Swiss chard leaves) – place on dinner plate


Chicken in Lettuce Cups
~ Plated to Serve ~

* Method:

  1. Put wok on medium fire
  2. Add oil
  3. Dust chicken thighs in flour
  4. Place chicken in wok and cook to golden brown on one side
  5. flip chicken and cook to brown color on the other side
  6. Turn down heat to low and add ginger and stir with wood paddle, then add honey, Hoisin, ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, and hot sauce. And continue to stir for maybe a minute
  7. add water and stir.
  8. As soon as chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to remove chicken and place on a cutting board – let the chicken rest for 5 minutes
  9. Using chef knife, slice chicken and place in a bowl
  10. Plate up chicken & condiments, serve and enjoy!



Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Golden Raisins & Almonds



Maybe it’s the colder than normal temperatures this winter,

but I have been on a big spice kick lately.

And hot, bubbly dinners. The kind that warm you up from the inside out.

Bruce mentioned wanting to try making a chicken dish using Moroccan style flavors. I envisioned a recipe that paired it with dates, yellow raisins and almonds. Since he had never made it before, Bruce scoured the internet until he found a recipe on bon appetit that encompassed what both of us had in mind.

Moroccan Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

The bon appetit recipe did not call for the golden raisins that I wanted, so we added them to our adapted recipe below.

We were also out of cilantro, so we simply left it off. I thought it was plenty fab without it.

Okay! Are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & diced [instead of the shallots]
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt [Our Addition]
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 dates, pitted, halved
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins [Our Addition]
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro (optional)



  1. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter; repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and discard. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of drumstick is pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates, yellow raisins, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce, dates and raisins over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro (optional).
  3. Serve and Enjoy!

This dish is warm and comforting enough for your family Sunday supper,

while being exotic enough to serve at a dinner party.

It is visually appealing, and tastes fabulous.


Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices
Photo courtesy of bon appetit

Original Source Recipe Here: Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices by bon appetit

To See What Wiki says About Moroccan Cuisine, Click Here

Country Captain – Spiced Stew Chicken


Chef Bruce’s Country Captain

Bruce and I often brainstorm recipe ideas. Last night’s dinner was a perfect example. He wanted to make a spiced chicken, with a dry rub of middle eastern spices. I was all in on the spiced flavor idea, but wasn’t appealing to the side of me that is freezing cold, and wanted a comforting winter stew.

But his idea made me think about a homey recipe I used to make, but hadn’t had in over a dozen years. Country Captain, or Captain’s Chicken. The thought alone of the zesty tomatoes mingling with exotic Mid-Eastern spices and juicy yellow raisins made my mouth water. 🙂

Bruce, being trained in French and fine dining, had never heard of it. I explained the concept, and found this interesting article (if you’re in to these things, like we are) on Captains Chicken. I liked that it told the history, and the recipes were close to what I had in mind: “Classic Country Captain Makes a Comeback”.

Once he read it, he got it. Off he went to the kitchen. Since it was his first try, he basically followed Recipe #2 “Remix” in the article, which I have printed for you below. We tested it for you, so you know it works. (see photo at top of page). We chose to omit the potatoes, and add a bit extra spice. Okay, Let’s Get Cooking!

photo by: mycountrykitchen.blogspot.com

Country Captain – Spiced Stewed Chicken

*Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (we added a bit more)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds of chicken thighs and legs, bone-in and skin-on

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored and diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (we omitted potatoes and served over rice)

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes [we substituted 14 oz of V-8 Juice]

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup golden raisins

Toasted slivered almonds, to garnish (optional)

In a small, dry skillet over low heat, combine the curry powder, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon. Toast, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant. Transfer the spices to a small plate and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour mixture, being sure to thoroughly coat all sides, but shaking off any excess.

In a large skillet over medium-high, combine the butter and the oil. Heat until the butter is melted. Add the chicken, searing the pieces on all sides until well browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

(Photo: Bos-bowl.com)

Add the onion, both bell peppers, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, thyme and reserved toasted spice blend. Reduce heat to medium and saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, raisins, and chicken. Bring to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, 30-45 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with the toasted almonds.

There are lots of variations, so don’t be afraid to Google other recipes, and give it your own style.

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Source: Alison Ladman  *  Original at http://www.toledoblade.com/Food/2011/01/25/Classic-country-captain-making-a-comeback.html#Eyke2RPfxOT33aS8.99

Recado Chicken Empanadas Recipe ~ So Flavorful “You Can Taste the Love!”


Flavorful Recado Chicken Emapanadas

Jane and I have been blessed with an urge to travel. One of our favorite locations is the unbelievably gorgeous country of Belize in Central America. Belizeans know how to make succulent and flavorful stewed chicken rice and beans, empanadas, johnny cakes tostadas, tacos, pupusas, ceviche, burritos, salbutes, fry jacks, garnaches, and so much more!

"The Pupusa Lady"

“The Pupusa Lady”

Each time we go, I swear we spend half our time poking around the markets, looking for local ingredients and products. We visit small restaurants for simple but tasty local food. Most often, there is not line cooks, but a hard working Belizean woman doing the cooking. I always say to Jane, “Let’s go to a little local place where someone’s Mama is in the kitchen”.  I swear I can taste love in the food! ❤


Jane excitedly waits for our shrimp burritos

After we return from Central America, the one food I miss most and cannot get in Suburban Pennsylvania is authentic zesty recado adobo chicken empanadas. What is better that yummy spicy chicken in homemade flaky pasty? They are the fast food of the gods, in my humble food opinion.

The recipe below is not an exact version of the Belizean empanada, but it is close, and very tasty. The flavor and aroma of these empanadas make me daydream about being in  Belize, where I am drinking a cold cerveza in a beach bar overlooking the Caribbean, my feet in the warm sand, talking to my friends while the music drifts lazily away with the tradewinds. Ahhhhh.


Ambergris Caye, Belize

 Recado Chicken Empanadas

Makes 12 empanadas  *  Prep Time: 2 hours  *  Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Perfect Flaky Dough

* Pastry Dough Ingredients: 

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted chilled butter, slice into 1/4 inch pieces

3 egg yolks

1 cup cold beer

* Empanada Dough Method:

  1. Place the flour salt and butter in a 12 inch metal or glass mixing bowl
  2. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour.
  3. Mix the egg yolk together with the beer.
  4. Pour egg/beer into the flour. Work with your fingers to combine to make the dough.
  5. Sprinkle some flour on your work table. Knead the dough on your work table until it is no longer crumbly. Shape into a ball.
  6. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least thirty minutes.

Mmm, Recado Chicken

* Empanada Filling Ingredients: 

2 Tblsp Oil

6 deboned and skinless chicken thighs

2 Tblsp either wheat flour or rice flour

1 small onion and one large green pepper, both diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp Recado , mixed with 1 Tblsp hot water (dissolved the Recado in the water  – or use canned chipotle chilis in Adobo, * see page bottom 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp ground cloves or allspice

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp hot sauce (I prefer Marie Sharp’s either green or red)

1 tsp fresh lime juice

* Empanada Filling Method:

  1. Place a 14 inch sauté pan, or wok, on a medium flame
  2. Add the oil to the sauté pan. Dust the chicken in the 2 Tblsp flour. Place the chicken the sauté pan.
  3. When the chicken browns on one side, turn it over and do the same on the other side.
  4. Add the onions, peppers and Recado and turn flame to low. Stir all. When the chicken is cooked, remove all to a plate to cool.
  5. Into a clean mixing bowl, add the salt, chili powder, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, hot sauce and lime juice to the cooked chicken, onions and peppers. The filling is done.

Preparing the chicken filling

* Making and Baking the Empanada

  1. Divide the dough in half (you cannot roll all the dough at one time) Place the dough in your hand and create a disc shape.
  2. Place about 2 Tblsp flour on your work table and place the dough on the flour. Be sure to dust both sides of the dough with flour before rolling the dough. Using your rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Using a round cutter that is about 6 inches wide, cut circles. If you do not have a metal cutter that large, use an inverted soup bowl. You should have cut at least 4 to 5 dough circles after rolling the dough
roll and cut the dough

roll and cut the dough

  1. Fill each dough circle with about 1/4 cup chicken filling
  2. Wet the edges of the dough using your finger or a small pastry brush. Fold the dough over the filling to make half moon shapes. Press the edges of the dough to seal. You may use a fork to crimp the edges, or you may crimp by creating folds.
  3. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper, or silicone mat. Using a sharp knife, make a 1/2 inch cut at the top of each empanada to allow the steam to escape when baking.
  4. Brush each empanadas with egg wash
  5. Turn oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit to preheat your oven.
  6. Using the other half of your dough, make more empanadas.
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes

Juicy & Delicious Recado Chicken Empanadas

 And there you have it! Zesty Recado Chicken Empanadas!

These are a great weekend treat any time of year. Our whole family loves them! Hope you decide to give it a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

+++ PURCHASE “Red Recado” Here: Buy Red Recado from Belize OR HERE: Buy Recado Rojo +++

* Can substitute the Adobo Sauce in canned Chipotle Chilis OR…

     Make your Own! Here’s a few to check out on the web…

     – Recado Rojo Recipe

     – Recado Rojo Recipe #2

     – Red Chili Adobo Sauce Recipe

* Edited for Additions 11/2/13

Travel Cooking with Bruce ~ Fried Chicken Sandwiches … in Beautiful San Pedro, Belize!


Tonight we had Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches for dinner, and it reminded me of our Chicken Sliders in San Pedro Video.

Fried Chicken Sliders in San Pedro, you ask? San Pedro…In Belize?

Yep. Last year, we made a few impromptu vacation cooking videos –

“Impromptu” meaning Bruce was cooking already, and I picked up my phone and started taping him.

I was just goofing around here, but he actually shows, start to finish, how to coat and fry perfect chicken tenders.

We like our on rolls, but they can also be eaten as is with your favorite dipping sauce (or 3),

or are delicious sliced on top of a spinach salad with our “Easy Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe“,

which I also used as a tangy, juicy spread on our sandwiches tonight!

These are Yummy, and Everyone who eats chicken LOVES them! Hope you give it a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Handy Tip! ~ Tenderizing Chicken


Chef Bruce says: Tenderize chicken by soaking it in a milk bath. If your chicken is, well, less than spankin’ fresh, the bath will also remove any odor from the chicken.

Method: Arrange  chicken in a large bowl or container. Add milk just to cover. To the milk, add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Place in your fridge, covered.
The chicken can sit in the bath anywhere from two hours to two days. Pull it out, rinse, and it’s tender, sweet smelling, and ready to cook! ~ Happy Eating! 🙂