Health Resources

Mid-Eastern Spiced Chicken Pitas with Yogurt Sauce

Photo: Chelsea Kyle Styling: Alex Brannian and Rhoda Boone
Photo: Chelsea Kyle                                Styling: Alex Brannian and Rhoda Boone

In many Mid-Eastern and Mediterranean countries, meat, vegetables, fresh herbs and yogurt sauces are often found together, tucked yummily into a pocket of pita bread.  We enjoy many variations of this theme, but this one is our pick of the moment.  Try tzatziki sauce as an alternative to the tahini yogurt, and thinly sliced grilled lamb or beef are great alternatives to the chicken.  Or go full out veggie and grill up some onions, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms and/or squash as an alternative or addition to the chicken or meat.  The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (we endorse free range, hormone and antibiotic free versions)
  • 4 pitas (Gluten free versions are available)
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt (to reduce sugar and boost protein, you may choose low fat plain greek yogurt) (hormone and antibiotic free types are available)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4″-thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup diced organic heirloom (or halved grape) tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F or grill to med-high. Combine cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. If roasting, spread on a rimmed baking sheet.  If grilling place directly on oiled grill racks. Cook (turning once) until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, about 10-12 minutes; wrap pitas in foil and warm in oven or grill during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, mix yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon zest, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl until incorporated. Fold in 2 Tbsp. dill and 2 Tbsp. mint.
  3. Toss cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in another medium bowl.
  4. Thinly slice chicken. Place 1 warmed pita on each plate and top evenly with chicken and tomato-cucumber salad. Drizzle each pita with 2 Tbsp. tahini-yogurt sauce; top with dill and mint. Serve remaining tahini-yogurt sauce alongside.

Do Ahead

Tahini-yogurt sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

 

Adapted PHS from Epicurious.Com