Bright, crunchy and spicy, this fun assemble-your-own dish from chef Ben Ford is perfect for a hot day.
Slideshow: More Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Pickled Watermelon Rind
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
One 1-inch slice of crystallized ginger
1 star anise
1/4 small watermelon, green skin and all but 1/4 inch of the red flesh
removed, rind sliced 1 inch thick
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 to 6 limes)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
12 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and julienned cucumber
1 cup julienned carrot
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup torn mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Fresno chile—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced
Lettuce leaves, for serving
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the pickled watermelon rind
In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt, ginger and star anise and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the watermelon rind and boil for 1 minute, then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours. Drain well and julienne the pickled rind.
Step 2 Meanwhile, prepare the chicken
In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice with the soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, Sriracha, garlic and cilantro. Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Light a grill and oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season the thighs with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Step 4 Make the slaw
In a large bowl, toss the julienned pickled watermelon rind with all of the ingredients except the lettuce leaves. Slice the chicken and serve in the lettuce leaves, topped with the slaw.
The drained pickled watermelon rind can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
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