Picnic Season

Honestly, picnic season doesn't really end for me. It does, however, find itself moved indoors. I love portable food and will find a spot on campus to enjoy an impromptu meal, even when the snow is flying. That said, as the weather warms and the sunshine beckons, I find myself seeking picnic food more and more:

So this time around, I'm sharing a simple, spicy Thai Chicken Wrap that's equally at home on a plate or a blanket in a park. I personally find the great outdoors a great dining backdrop, so you know where I stand (sit, actually) on this one. One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it really celebrates the amazing taste and ease with which pulled chicken can happen if you have a nice skillet and some boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Don't substitute chicken breasts for the thighs here and think you'll end up with anything like the flavor and texture that's intended for this delicious wrap. Chicken thighs withstand heat very well and maintain even moisture and tenderness. Chicken breasts, while perfect for some applications, tend to dry out easily and can quickly end up with a sandy texture that is anything but appealing. Stick with thighs. Trust me on this.

I kept the additions to the wrap pretty limited because the shredded meat carries so much flavor. For me, some sweet, crunchy peppers were all I needed. You could also add chopped cucumber and/or shredded carrots. Really, a lot of vegetables would play nice with this dish, but I'd prefer to toss them together as a side salad with maybe a spicy-sweet-tangy dressing and keep the wraps pretty simple. After all, simple will mean making them can happen more often. And who hates the idea of more picnics?

Thai Chicken Wraps

  • 1 T. cooking fat of your choice - I use either bacon fat or canola oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs — about 1 lb.
  • 1 T. Thai red curry paste - find in the ethnic section of most grocery stores
  • 2 T. coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. Bangkok Blend or other spicy Asian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. sweet mini peppers, sliced into thin rings
  • Flour tortillas

In a medium-sized nonstick skillet, heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the chicken thighs and cook without turning for 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the skillet and cook the chicken an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and, carefully using two forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, Bangkok Blend, and salt and stir well to evenly coat the chicken. Replace the lid and allow the chicken to rest while you slice peppers.

Slice the peppers into thin rings and warm the tortillas if needed. To serve, place your desired amount of chicken and sliced peppers onto a flour tortilla and fold the tortilla around the filling. These wraps are best served warm, although wrapping them in foil to take on a picnic will work beautifully.

  • Yields: 4-6 wraps, depending on full you make them
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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