5 Ingredients: Curry Chicken Lettuce Cups

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, September 3, 2009

Curry Chicken Lettuce Cups
These lettuce cups are full of flavor but not fat and calories. Add some crusty bread and you’ve got a light lunch or quick weeknight dinner.

1 package split chicken breasts (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 large leaves Bibb lettuce

Optional garnishes: slivered almonds, golden raisins, chopped scallions, fresh basil

1) Split Chicken Breasts
After I tried roasting, rather than poaching, the chicken for this recipe, I’ve never gone back to the old way. Split chicken breasts come with the bone in and skin on, which helps retain moisture and flavor. You remove the skin after cooking, so you’re left with only the lean, juicy breast meat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle each piece with a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees on a meat thermometer). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2) Red Bell Pepper
Bell peppers actually have more vitamin C than oranges; in this dish, they add sweetness, crunch and a bright punch of red.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and remove breast meat from the bone; chop or shred into bite-sized pieces. Transfer chicken to large bowl and add the diced pepper.

3) Mayonnaise
Yes, folks, REAL mayo. For a recipe like this, there’s just no substitute. High-fat foods like mayonnaise aren’t the enemy if you keep portions sensible. You only need a little bit for this entire recipe.

4) Curry Powder
Curry powder is actually a spice blend that often includes turmeric, coriander, cardamom, fennel, cloves, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and different types of peppers. Many of these spices, turmeric and cinnamon in particular, are potent sources of inflammation-fighting antioxidants. All curry blends are different; some are hotter or sweeter than others. If you find that this dressing needs a little extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder, 1/4-teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of water; whisk well. Add dressing to chicken and peppers, and mix gently to combine.

5) Bibb Lettuce
You can’t have lettuce cups without lettuce. Also known as “Boston” or “butterhead,” these tender large leaves make perfect edible serving bowls. Despite having virtually no calories, each leaf contains 10% of your daily dose of vitamin A and 19% of your vitamin K. You could really use any kind of large-leaf lettuce for this recipe (romaine would work well), but I like Bibb’s delicate texture and flavor.

Scoop half-cup portions of chicken mixture into each lettuce cup. Enjoy as is, or mix things up by experimenting with different garnishes. Add slivered almonds for crunch, raisins for sweetness or scallions and basil for some freshness.

Nutrition Info:
Serving: 2 lettuce cups
Calories: 220 calories
Total Fat: 8.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 3 grams
Protein: 32 grams
Sodium: 294 milligrams
Cholesterol: 87 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
*This analysis does not include optional garnishes.

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Comments (14)

  1. jsutathought says:

    a healthy substitute for mayo that doesn't detract from the flavor is plain yogurt…

  2. John says:

    I call B.S. on the real mayo. Yogurt works fine as a substitute in a curry chicken salad, which is basically what this is.

  3. Sarah says:

    Real mayo and yogurt taste much different. Yogurt is a lot tangier while mayo is a little sweet. If you're worried about the fat, get light mayo instead! Or use half mayo, half yogurt.

  4. emilyb says:

    I agree, there is a big difference in mayo and yogurt! I do low carb and this would work great. Low carb folks is the way to go and still be able to enjoy eating. Don't always believe the bad hipe. Check into it and find out the truth. I have been doing it and it works, I feel great and continue to lose, my doctor is pleases with all my numbers!

  5. Captain Steve says:

    "Add some crusty bread and you’ve got a light lunch or quick weeknight dinner."

    Well, it was "light" until you added the gratuitous starch-laden bread! As for "quick"… what's the rush? Gotta go and watch "America's Got Talent"? Relax, take your time and enjoy the journey of cooking.

  6. brian says:

    Try this dish Brian

  7. Rusty says:

    I read all the mayo labels in the store & I chose the one made with Canola oil. Even my husband liked it! My doctor has told me if I need to use any oil for cooking or salads to use Canola oil. The cholesterol & fat are very low & it has a little tangy taste in the mayo. It was even lower in the bad things that the mayo with Olive oil… That surprised me. My husband "thinks" he doesn't like reduced fat or light things but he liked the Hellman's with Canola oil…

  8. Sharon says:

    What a wonderful blog! The best, more thorough one I've seen using a few ingredients. The chicken lettuce wraps look delicious! And I totally agree about the mayo! I'm new to blogging (but not to cooking) and have started my own. It's humble, but I'd like to link yours if you don't mind.

  9. jerseyjen says:

    Canola oil? What's a canola? have you done research on this to find out how exactly they make it? Go with olive oil instead!

  10. Very nice post. I certainly love this website. Keep it up!

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