Think chicken is boring? One bite of these Asian Chicken Collard Cups and you’ll be whistling a different tune. Here, the star of the mealtime show is my addictive Asian-inspired sauce, which has a perfect balance of sweet, savory, creaminess, and tang. While the collard wraps are a fun and nutrient-dense vehicle for this PF Chang’s-style chicken, feel free to enjoy the dish however you'd like—mixed with rice and steamed veggies, layered atop greens for a fresh salad, taco-style with some sliced avocado, or straight out of the container. Equally as delicious cold and warm, you can bring these Asian Chicken Collard Cups to the office for lunch or as your contribution to a summer BBQ or potluck. I will sometimes make this sauce and keep it around for various uses; tossed with pasta, as a dip for raw veggies, or heated with some coconut milk, stock, and chickpeas for a quick peanut curry. Feel free to adjust the Sriracha level to your preferred spice preference as well; many reader leave it out entirely for their kids. No matter the age of your guests – this delicious dinner recipe is sure to be a hit.
2 bunches collard leaves
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Sriracha (optional)
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, minced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup water chestnuts, diced
How to Make It
To prep collard leaves, rinse and pat dry thoroughly. Place leaves face down on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut out the thick, woody part of the stem, leaving a few inches at the top.
Mix the sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together peanut butter, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, garlic, Sriracha (if using), tamari, sea salt, and ginger.
Cook the chicken mixture. Heat a large sauté pan or wok to medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, add minced chicken. Allow to pop, crackle, and brown around the edges before flipping. Turn heat down if you see smoking.
When chicken is golden brown and cooked through (approximately 4 to 5 minutes), turn heat to low and add sauce and water chestnuts. Cook for another minute, stirring, until sauce has thickened.
Scoop 1/4 cup chicken mixture onto the top of each prepared leaf. Add a little bit of each garnish if desired, then roll the mixture up in the leaf, slightly overlapping the two open sides of the leaf as you roll. Tie with string if making ahead of time, or eat as-is.
Leftover chicken mixture will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
Laura Lea Goldberg is a Certified Health-Supportive and Holistic Chef who began studying the concept of holistic health and cooking fresh, produce-focused meals when the negative effects of a corporate career began to affect her health. She marveled at the profound improvement of her physical and emotional state, particularly her ability to cope with stress and anxiety, that a fresh, vegetable-based diet produced. Determined to share this simple but forgotten connection, she graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and created her website, LLBalanced.com.