This recipe was actually inspired by this head of radicchio. I've only eaten small pieces of radicchio in salads so when I saw a whole head at the Farmers' Market - Alhambra, I couldn't pass it up.
Radicchio has a slightly bitter taste, so I needed to pair it with something sweet. As I peeled off one leaf at a time, I decided they would make great wraps. I'd been wanting to make lychee chicken after seeing Tigerfish of Teczcape's version, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment.
I wanted to keep the filling white so the purple of the radicchio would stand out more. I like longans more than lychees so that's what I had in my pantry. Either works fine for this dish. There's no need to use fresh longans for this recipe, canned works just fine.
I kept this dish pretty simple so that there weren't other flavors to compete with the slightly bitter radicchio leaves and the sweet longans.
Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps
For about 4 appetizer-sized servings, you'll need:
1 can of longans or lychees, drained, reserve the juice for later
1 or 2 chicken filets, thigh or breast meat, cut into 1 inch-by-2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tblsp corn starch dissolved in 1 cup longan liquid
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp rice vinegar
Slice the chicken filet into 1 inch-by-2 inch pieces. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp rice vinegar. Set aside to marinate.
Finely mince 2 garlic cloves.
In a pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and add the garlic. When the garlic starts to soften, add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked. Add the longans.
Dissolve 1 tblsp corn starch in 1 cup longan liquid and add that mixture to the pan. Let simmer for a few minutes so it can thicken into a sauce.
Meanwhile, wash and prepare your radicchio wraps.
When the longan chicken has thickened to your liking, spoon some of the filling into the center of each wrap.
Or you can serve the longan chicken over rice.
Although some people might be familiar with this tropical fruit, using it in savory dishes is a bit unusual so I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen celebrating herbs, vegetables, or flowers. WHB is now managed by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. If you'd like to participate, see who's hosting WHB? This week, WHB is hosted by Wiffy of Noob Cook.
1 year ago today, Croutons with Garlic and Seasoning.
2 years ago today, I "autostitched" together a panoramic photo of my visit to Parga, Greece.