Give mint its refreshing due

Associated PressApril 20, 2014 

This is the finished minted lemon and olive chicken wraps.

MATTHEW MEAD — Associated Press

Fresh mint so rarely gets its due in America.

We gladly pair it with chocolate and fruit, but it almost never makes appearances in savory dishes. But the rest of the world knows better, adding it with abandon to all manner of savory dairy, vegetable and meat dishes. That's because a little bit of its naturally sweet, herby flavor can go a long way to playing up the savory elements of a dish.

To demonstrate what a delicious addition mint can be to meaty dishes, we created these chicken wraps that are seasoned with salty capers and olives, a sweet hit of honey and a splash of lemon -- all flavors that meld wonderfully with fresh mint.

What you need:

  • Two tablespoons olive oil.

  • One medium yellow onion, chopped.

  • Two cloves garlic, minced.

  • Two tablespoons chopped capers.

  • Half a cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped.

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

  • One tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed.

  • Zest and juice of two lemons.

  • 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks.

  • One tablespoon honey.

  • Quarter cup chopped fresh mint.

  • Salt and ground black pepper.

  • Eight pita breads or baguette sections, to serve.

  • One cup fresh ricotta cheese.

  • One cup sliced seedless cucumber.
In a large saute pan over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, capers, olive and red pepper flakes, then saute for six to eight minutes, or until the onion is tender and starting to brown. Add the coriander, lemon zest and juice, and the chicken. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through, eight to 10 minutes.

Stir in the honey and mint, then season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon some of the chicken mixture onto each pita bread or section of baguette, then top with ricotta and cucumber slices.

Start to finish: 45 minutes.

Servings: Eight.

Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 180 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 105 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 30 g protein; 390 mg sodium.

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