Dear Iceberg Lettuce, I do hereby apologize for all those times I have ignored you, walked passed you, and even scuffed at you. Sincerely, A Now Loyal Fan.
I guess I had one too many icky iceberg salads growing up to have taken it seriously, and mostly avoided it. There probably was a time or two I made sure to walk on the opposite side of the aisle from it in the grocery store, just to be safe you know.
Even after being sold on lettuce wrapped burgers recently I only tried it for these lettuce wraps because our store was out of Boston lettuce. Glad that was the case, forcing me to branch out, because the iceberg rocked it’s wrapping duties yet again. The perfect crisp freshness!
Ok, enough about iceberg. I just had to give it a shout out as I am such a new convert. But, it still is the side kick – a loyal one, but a side kick. The hero is definitely the filling – chicken and carrots cooked in a five spice sauce rich with umami.
If you have never had Chinese Five Spice before I highly recommend trying it! It adds a balanced combination of sweet and earthy spices to a dish. That means complexity of flavors easily. Blend it with some fish sauce (for umami), dates (for sweetness), and garlic and ginger and you have a healthy flavorful sauce to cook the chicken in.
The chicken and carrots only need to cook a few minutes before the sauce gets added to it and they simmer together until the sauce, thickened by dates, is reduced and the chicken and carrots are tender.
With the finishing touches of red pepper and onion for fresh color, and lime juice to brighten it up, a delicious (and quick) dinner is done.