This 2013 photo shows chicken and jicama spring rolls with peanut sauce in Concord, N.H. Photo by: AP Photo/Matthew Mead
February 5, 2014 10:54:53 AM
Why do we never see fresh spring rolls stuffed with chicken?
We see shrimp and vegetarian and even crab. But never chicken. And that's a shame, because the ingredients in a fresh spring roll -- usually a blend of vegetables and noodles, often some avocado, maybe some mint, all wrapped in tender rice paper -- aren't all that far removed from the usual chicken salad ingredients.
And then there is the dipping sauce. There are plenty of variations, but spicy peanut sauce is among the most common. And chicken certainly gets along well with peanut sauce.
So I decided to take spring rolls in a fowl direction. When paired with crunchy jicama, carrots and cucumber, the chicken shines as a spring roll filling. Add fresh mint and a deliciously sweet-and-sour spicy peanut sauce, and you have the makings of a fine Asian-inspired meal.
When soaking the rice wrappers, do them one at a time. And don't soak them longer than suggested or they will fall apart. The rice noodles and wrappers can be found in the Asian or international aisle of most grocers.
This recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover roasted or grilled chicken. And if you have no leftovers or are short on time, just grab a rotisserie chicken.
CHICKEN AND JICAMA SPRING ROLLS WITH PEANUT SAUCE
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 12 rolls
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste
For the spring rolls:
2 ounces dried bean or rice thread noodles
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
4-ounces peeled jicama root
12 large rice-paper wrappers (8-inch round or larger)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, pulled or cut into strips
12 large fresh mint leaves
Nutrition information per roll with peanut sauce: 200 calories; 80 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 13 g protein; 310 mg sodium.