Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is NOT a PF Changs copycat recipe.

These are MY damn lettuce wraps.
Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps The dressing is so good – and it’s homemade. Think of it as a kick ass Japanese hibachi grill salad dressing.
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More than kick ass – you’ll want to drink it.
Ginger Dressing If you don’t know about OXO and their products, you need to check them out. They send me the best stuff –  and I’m hooked. I have two of these salad dressing mixers – they’re one of my VERY favorites.

I smoked some chicken thighs. Imma bout to give you a moment to learn.

Fact: Skinless BONE IN chicken thighs are so much better than boneless. Why? Hell, I don’t know WHY they’re that way, but they just are.

You’re still learning…

I probably get double the amount of chicken to chop (sans gross shit like fat and whatever) than I usually do with boneless thighs. Chicken thighs are still lean, and easier to chop than chicken breasts.

Usually I use my stand mixer to shred meats, but sometimes a girl needs to stand in the kitchen and chop just for fun. It’s a stress reliever, if you don’t already know that about me.
Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps Because I like to use a spicy wet rub on my chicken thighs, I thought it was appropriate to add mango. It balances everything out and adds more flavor. Nothing wrong with more flavor – and mango works so well here.

As far as the vehicle for all of this, I chose green leaf lettuce. Romaine would definitely work (it’s a sturdy leaf), iceberg would also be good, or you could even get crazy and use cabbage leaves. I, personally, would blanch cabbage leaves if using them for this recipe. All up to you.

Here’s your printable-

Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps


    For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (I used gluten free)
  • 1 squirt Sriracha
  • For the Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 lb. skinless chicken thighs smoked with this rub
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used canned, but I smoked them!)
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
  • Handful Chinese Rice Noodles, crushed
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce


    For the Dressing
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth.
  • For the Chicken Wraps
  • Debone and chop chicken.
  • Assemble wraps by adding chicken through rice noodles; drizzle with dressing.

Here’s your Pinnable ↓
Smoked Chicken Mango Lettuce Wraps

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15 Must Make Gluten Free Appetizers

If you have a gluten allergy, or have celiac disease, you know the struggle.

You can’t ingest ANY gluten, and making sure that products aren’t cross-contaminated can be a bit time-consuming. I have found, however, that it doesn’t have to be difficult. I was recently diagnosed and I have been surprised by how easy it is to live gluten-free. There are a lot of products that will make it clear that they’re, indeed, gluten-free.

That means no cross contamination.

You don’t have to be limited!

In my quest to find some of the best recipes, I have put together a collection of appetizers (my favorite dish to make) that are gluten-free.

From dips to “pachos,” seafood and poppers, you’ll need to bookmark every single one of my 15 Must-Make Gluten-Free Appetizers.

Go here to see them all.

Here’s your pinnable!

This article was original published on Community Table/Parade online magazine.

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Mexican Tart

I’ll go ahead and admit that my intentions were to do a corn tortilla tutorial. I won’t lie.

I lost patience after the 14th time of trying to nail it. It’s really not that difficult, but I got frustrated doing it with no tortilla press.  I so wanted to make them…

I did, however, make something last minute that turned out better than I expected.

Mexican Tart Isn’t she pretty??
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I made a simple dough with Masa, water and salt and pressed it into a tart pan. The day before, I smoked a huge pork loin that came out beautifully.

SO tender.
Smoked Pork Loin I seasoned it with my favorite wet rub, and let the smoke do the magic.

I’m pretty damn happy with plan B.
The crust isn’t overwhelming. I was afraid that it would be thick and too much, but it’s NOT! It’s just enough. I pressed it down pretty thin in the tart pan – so glad I did.

I didn’t drown the pork in a lot of salsa, even though I was tempted to.

I put just enough to keep it moist, and then drizzled on some hot sauce, then the other toppings.
Black beans, corn, sauteed onions and cheeses rounded it all out. This is the perfect throw together weeknight dinner. You could also put it together the night before, refrigerate and throw it in the oven when you get home from work.

I just solved tomorrow night’s dinner dilemma for you.

You’re welcome.

Here’s your printable –

Mexican Tart

Mexican Tart


  • 2 cups Masa flour
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray (or butter, or oil)
  • 3/4 lb. pulled pork (or beef, or chicken)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup white corn
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (I love Cholula)
  • 3/4 cup pickled jalapenos
  • 1 1/2 cup white sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Limes, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine masa through salt.
  • Spray fluted tart pan (or pie pan) with nonstick spray; press masa dough into pan - should be about as thin as thin pizza dough.
  • Spread pork, onions, beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa and hot sauce. Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  • Top with remaining ingredients and serve.


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Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups

How cute are these??
Tamale Cups Remember when I made tamales?

They’ve been on my mind lately, but I wanted to do something a bit different.

I smoked my chicken with a nice wet rub, then made little cups with masa flour. It’s the tamale taste you get, without having to roll in the corn husks. I mixed the flour with some vegetable oil and chicken broth and it was the perfect consistency.
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The wet rub on the chicken gave it a good bit of flavor, so I just threw it in my KitchenAid stand mixer and let it shred it for me, then packed it into the masa cups and topped it with cheese before I baked them.

Very easy.
Tamale Cups You know how I typically have to whore things out.

I threw everything on these – fresh jalapenos, tomatoes, chopped lettuce, black olives, onions, more cheese, hot sauce and sour cream. Feel free to make these your very own.
Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups A couple of things were missing – and I’ll add them next time – cilantro and lime.

Make them soon – so EZ.
Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups|Dixie Chik Cooks

Here’s your printable –

Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups

Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups


  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Masa flour
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Cabot Seriously Sharp Cracker Cuts
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, jalapeno slices, sour cream, onions, etc.


  • Combine cumin through olive oil; rub generously on chicken.
  • Smoke chicken for 3 hours, until thermometer reads at least 165 degrees.
  • Remove chicken, allow to cool and shred.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix masa flour, oil and broth together.
  • Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • Press 2-3 tbsp. of masa mixture into each muffin mold; fill with chicken and one slice of cheese.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  • Serve topped with remaining ingredients.


*You can use store bought taco seasoning instead of making your own if you would rather; I like to control my seasonings.

And your pinnable!
Smoked Chicken Tamale Cups

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Top 10 Recipes of 2017

Are you ready for 2018?

2017 was a good year for me from a culinary standpoint. Here are the top 10 recipes from the year, but first let me go over some things I learned that I’m so excited about…still.

I discovered smoking.

THAT was huge; I never really knew the joy of smoking until I got my smoker box.
One of best things I’ve smoked so far – Smoked Lemon Pepper Wings.
Smoked Lemon Pepper Wings Go here for the recipe.
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I discovered sous vide cooking. Words can’t express how much I love this method. If you don’t have a sous vide, get one ASAP.
I made these Reverse Sear Carnitas.
Carnitas | Dixie Chik Cooks Get the recipe here.

I learned that you can pancake batter the shit out of just about anything.

Including Pancake Battered Chicken.
Pancake Battered Chicken | Dixie Chik Cooks Go here for the recipe.

I learned that bacon and tequila pair quite nicely. I made this Bacon Jalapeno Tequila Jam Burger, and it got me a Golden Ticket to World Food Championships.
Bacon Tequila Jam Burger Get the recipe here.

I learned EXACTLY how to make copycat Krystal (or White Castle) burgers. I nailed them.
Krystal Copycat Burger Go here for the recipe.

I learned that thinly sliced potatoes make damn good vehicles for other food – such as Sloppy Joe stuff. And other stuff.

Ok, fine, jalapenos.
Sheet Pan Pachos | Dixie Chik Cooks Get this here –> recipe.

I learned that shoving a beer can in the middle of ground beef makes for a perfectly stuffed burger.
Go here for the recipe – You won’t be sorry.

I also learned that adding an Asian flair to the typical French Dip is absolutely amazing.
Asian French Dip Get the recipe for this Asian French Dip here.

I also played around with layering – cheese encased in a meatball encased in a pretzel shell. Sounds complicated, but nah.
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels Get the recipe for these Meatball Stuffed Pretzels.

Oh, and I made, yet, another burger. Shocker, I know.
Click here for my Steakhouse Burger.

That was the best of the best – 2017 version.

Pin the collection!
Best of 2017

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