Happy Woot-It-Up Wednesday, y’all! Since I have moved to North Carolina, I have been gabbing about how much I love it here… and probably making you guys want to ralph at my admiration of my new home state. Well, you guys, I finally found something I hate about Seven Lakes (my town).
The electrical company. They suck. Big time.
On Monday, there was some confusion in their office (read: Nincompoops don’t know how to properly do their job) and our power was turned off first thing in the morning. Of course Boy called and set them it straight. They promised they would come turn it back on ASAP. I did mention they suck, right? Because, apparently ASAP means 12 hours later at 7 o’clock pm. So, I was stuck at home, because my car was in the garage (<– no power to open door) with no AC, no fans, no oven, no lights, no Wi-Fi, no television, not even power to a stinkin’ microwave… zip, zilch, nada… no “luxuries”. Just me; suffocating, stagnant, hot air; a lot of sweat, and Dolce (our dog). Needless to say, I was not a ray of sunshine on Monday.
Thankfully, Boy came home at 1 pm and let me out of my cage jimmied the garage door open so I could go into town. I wondered around the grocery store for a bit, but didn’t want to buy anything because there was no cold air being pumped into our fridge. I was also worried about the dog, so I didn’t stay long. Seriously, what did they do before Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison?? I’m clueless… I could NOT have survived. #ThisBabyNeedsAC #GiveMeALLtheElectricalPower
Anyways, none of that has anything to do with today’s post. I just needed to vent. Thank you for humoring me! To reward you for listening to me ramble, I made you some kick a$$ lettuce wraps – Slow Cooker Strawberry, Jalapeno and Rum Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Strawberry Salsa, Goat Cheese, Quinoa and Almonds – to be exact.
You guys, these lettuce wraps are seriously ah-maze-balls delish. They are the epitome of summertime scrumptiousness and Boy only stopped gushing about how delicious they were long enough to shove another bite into his pie hole. We were both devouring and swooning over these chicken lettuce wraps. I even went so far as to pat myself on the back. Boy went as far as to state that these lettuce wraps were, “SOOO good I must sell them, because the world deserves to know what epic lettuce wraps taste like.” (<– Gotta love him, right!?)
These chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, salty, sticky, tart, tangy, nutty, crunchy, creamy, and refreshingly crisp. The chicken itself is amazingly succulent, super flavorful and perfectly tender. These wraps are also substantial and filling, but light and healthy, so they won’t leave you feeling heavy and food pregnant. All around these wraps are nom-tastic and they WILL have you addicted.
Not only are these lettuce wraps 100% lip-smacking yummy, they are also a cinch to put together thanks to the slow cooker. Please tell me you guys use your slow cooker during the summer?? It is absolutely perfect for this time of year. You set it, forget it, go outside, play in the sun, and build up an appetite. Then you come home and voila! Thank you, Mr. Slow Cooker for preparing us something scrumptious to eat!
A note on the chicken- I used bone-in chicken thighs and I removed the skin, because hello flavor without all that added fat, but feel free to use chicken breast if that’s your thing. However, I highly recommend you use bone-in of whatever cut you choose.
Do your tummy a favor and prepare these divine Strawberry Rum Chicken Lettuce Wraps, I guarantee you are going to love them and eat ‘em up! Until next time, Cheers and happy wrapping!
*Don’t be discouraged by the long ingredient list! Most of them are pantry staples or are ingredients that are used twice in the recipe!*
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 6 Chicken Thighs, bone in and skin removed (about 2 ½ pounds before skin is removed, scant 2 pounds without skin)
- 1 TBS Butter
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- ½ large Yellow Onion – small dice (about 1 cup)
- 1 large Jalapeno – seeds and ribs partially removed*, small dice (about 3 TBS)
- 2 cloves of Garlic – minced
- ¾ Cup Spiced Dark Rum
- ¾ Cup Strawberry Preserves
- 3 TBS Honey
- 1 TBS Lime Juice
- 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 TBS BBQ Sauce
- ¾ Cup Chicken Stock
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ Pound Strawberries – hulled and small dice
- 1 small Jalapeno – seeded and ribbed. Finely diced
- 1 TBS Lime Juice and ½ tsp Lime Zest (about ½ a lime)
- 1 scant TBS Cilantro – roughly chopped
- 1 small Shallot – finely diced (about 2 heaping TBS)
- 1 tsp Honey, or more to taste
- 1 Head of Bibb Lettuce – separated into individual leaves
- 1 Cup Quinoa – Cooked according to package
- Almonds, to taste - sliced
- 4 oz. Goat Cheese- crumbled (I used Honey Flavored Goat Cheese)
- Green Onions – thinly sliced
- Jalapeno- sliced into rings
- Lime Zest
- Make the Rub: In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the rub, stirring to combine. On a clean work surface, apply the rub onto the chicken, massaging it into the meat. Set aside.
- Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the strawberry preserves, honey, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, chicken stock and salt. Set aside.
- Prepare the Salsa: Place all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Carefully stir to combine. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Cook the Chicken: Place a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat and melt butter and oil. Add the chicken, in batches if necessary as to not over crowd the pot, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4-6 minutes total. Use tongs to remove chicken to the slow cooker.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and jalapenos to the pot. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to the slow cooker.
- Carefully pour the whisky into the pot to deglaze, scrapping up brown bits from the bottom. Pour whisky over the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Pour the strawberry preserves mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker. Secure the lid and cook on high for 3 ½ -4 hours or low for 7 hours, or until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
- Skim the top of the sauce and remove fat. Discard. Remove chicken to a clean work surface and use two forks to shred chicken.
- Serve the chicken in lettuce wraps with quinoa, strawberry salsa, goat cheese, almonds, jalapeno rings and green onions.
*Remove all of the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno for a dish with less spice.
*If you are in a hurry, you can skip browning the chicken, sauteing the onion/jalapenos and deglazing the pan. Simply throw everything into the slow cooker and proceed as directed. You will, however, lose some of the depth of flavor.
*To Prepare in the Oven:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Follow steps above, but do not remove the onion mixture from the pot. Instead, carefully pour in the whisky and cook, 2 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Stir in the strawberry preserves, honey, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, chicken stock and salt. Whisk well to combine all ingredients.
3. Add the chicken back into the pot. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 1 ½ hours, or until chicken is tender and cooked throughout.