Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fun and Healthy Chicken Roll-Ups

This will undoubtedly be a family favorite. It's a simple, well balanced and nutritious snack and can even be served as a dinner. Everyone loves "finger foods" and this is one that will please them all.

photo credit: focuseat.com
Ingredients:
  1. 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  2. 1 to 1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus (fresh green beans work well, too)
  3. 1 package of large flour tortillas
  4. 1 8 oz. jar of Hoisin sauce (easily found in the Asian food section at your local grocery store)
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp pressed garlic (optional)
  7. salt & pepper
photo credit: plainchicken.com
Directions:
The first part of this dish is the same direction you might find in a stir-fry recipe.
Cut the chicken into 2 inch strips. Lightly and evenly salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut the asparagus into 2 inch segments.The asparagus can be steamed separately or it can be stir fried with the chicken. Asparagus also tends to be sweeter when it's not overcooked. It should remain somewhat crunchy and usually ends up just about right by the time the chicken is cooked. This will add to the texture of the dish and also keep the nutritional value intact. It's a bit of a time saver and there is less cleanup if you cook them together.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic (if you choose to use it). The garlic should not be browned but just left in the hot oil long enough to extract the natural oils and combine nicely with the olive taste. As soon as the oil is hot enough, add the chicken and asparagus. Stir consistently for about 10 minutes. This should be long enough to fully cook the chick without drying it out and also a short enough time to keep the asparagus from getting overcooked. Remove them from heat and set them aside to cool.

Stack five or 6 tortillas at a time on a cutting board and cut them into long 2 inch wide strips. The rounded edge strips will work fine, too. When you have them cut, cover them with a very slightly damp towel and microwave them for about 20 seconds. They only need to warm up enough to make them easier to roll.
Now comes the fun part. I usually get someone to help and rarely get an argument from the kids.

Get a teaspoon or a spreading knife, whichever you find easier to use, and spread a layer of the Hoisin sauce on a tortilla strip. It doesn't take much because the sauce has a lot of flavor. Place a piece of chicken and a segment of asparagus at the end of the strip and roll it up like a wrap sandwich. The Hoisin sauce will help to keep it rolled. Stack them on a serving plate as you go. Trust me when I tell you that you'll be lucky to have enough left on the plate that you're trying to fill by the time you run out of your prepared ingredients.


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