The food doodle accompanying today’s recipe is a bit of a misdirect. Sure, there are technically tomatillos in these Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbreads but they aren’t fresh. Yes, I Susan Keefe, used store bought salsa verde in this recipe. The shame is overwhelming. Please know I would not have committed such a food blog sin if I had been able to get my hands on fresh tomatillos. Sadly, my neighborhood grocery haunts could not accommodate my tomatillo needs and tracking them down would’ve required a special trip, which would’ve required time that I am short on these days. So, I went with bottled salsa verde and while I’m sure freshly made would’ve been better, these flatbreads still managed to knock my socks off. Plus, with the bottled salsa, these flatbreads make for a stellar weeknight meal.
Once upon a time, I worked in a giant office building with a food court in the basement. And in that food court, there was a purveyor of wraps and salads designed to appeal to the starved-for-time, money-to-burn, health conscious yuppie. Among the merchant’s various offerings was a line of collard green wraps. Every time I would pass these wraps I would shake my head. To me, these “wraps” were proof that the gluten-free movement had officially jumped the shark. A few years and one career change later, here we are with Chicken Collard Wraps in our midst. And collard wraps of my own making, no less.
Honey garlic sauce tends to get a bad wrap. It’s considered “wussy” by heat enthusiasts, unrefined by food snobs, and generally dull by pretty much everyone. I get it. Honey garlic doesn’t have the kick of hot sauce, the tang of sweet and sour, or the complexity of whatever food truck daydream has recently tickled your fancy. But I’m willing to bet that back in the day you doused your chicken nuggets in the stuff. You probably requested honey garlic spareribs when your mom gave in and ordered Chinese. You may have even flirted with adding it to your fries. Look how much joy this saccharine sauce has brought to so many of us over the years. How can we turn our backs on it? Well, I couldn’t, so I grew it up, fed it some booze and I have these Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings to show for it.
Once upon a time, I used to cringe at the thought of a fresh roll. I thought they were for the unadventurous and the dieting – the flavorless consolation prize to a crisp spring roll. But that was before I actually had one. Forgive me. I didn’t know what I was saying. I didn’t know that rice paper sheets have this magnificent chew or that greens magically taste better within their walls. I didn’t know you could find just about anything in a fresh roll, like noodles, pineapple, shrimp, and chicken. I didn’t know Vietnamese food was magic! I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen the light and today’s Caramel Fried Chicken Fresh Rolls further solidify that fact.