Homemade middle eastern-style pita with chicken

  • Cook Time
    1 hour 10 mins
  • Serving
    4
  • Difficulty
    Medium

If there’s one thing I really love, it’s all kinds of sandwiches and sliders that can be made ahead for a large gathering of friends and loved ones. Like the doner kebab or burger, for example. Today we will make one of these wonderful and simple dishes – a middle eastern-inspired pita with tender chicken and a tangy yogurt sauce.

WHAT IS A PITA?

A pita is a round, flat wheat flour bread that often has a hollow interior or pocket.

This bread is very common in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, where it has been eaten, according to historians, for at least 4.000 years. The first pita were made with a mixture of flour and water that was left to absorb natural yeast from the environment. After some time, people began adding brewer’s yeast to the dough so that it would rise faster. This bread was then cooked in an open oven.

Modern pita can also be cooked in an ordinary oven, but you’ll need to heat it up thoroughly. The dough itself is fairly simple: it’s made with just flour, yeast, a little salt and sugar, milk or water. After baking, pitas are usually stuffed with meat, falafel, vegetables and various sauces or hummus.

Today we’ll be making a delicious chicken pita – that’s my favorite kind. As for the vegetables, I decided to use pickles, white onions and parsley leaves, but you can switch these out with any other vegetables you like. I didn’t want the sauce to overpower the other flavors, so I made a simple and delicate dressing using plain yogurt.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PITA

Ingredients

For the filling:

For the pita dough:

Homemade middle eastern-style pita with chicken: Directions

Step 1

Gather and prep all the ingredients you’ll need to make this pita with chicken and yoghurt sauce.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 1
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 1
Step 2

Start by making the dough. In a small bowl, combine the room-temperature milk with 12 g live yeast. Stir in the granulated sugar and let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240C.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 2
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 2
Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and a little more granulated sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture and mix everything so that the dough comes together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. It took me about 5-7 minutes.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 3
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 3
Step 4

Roll the dough into a ball, transfer it into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and let proof for about 35-40 minutes or until the dough doubles in size and becomes puffy.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 4
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 4
Step 5

Trim off the films and excess fat from the chicken breasts. Cut the meat into thin slices at a 45-degree angle. This will help the meat cook faster.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 5
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 5
Step 6

Place the chicken in a hot skillet with 2 tbsp sunflower oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and saute on both sides until golden brown.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 6
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 6
Step 7

Let the cooked meat cool slightly and then cut it into yet thinner strips.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 7
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 7
Step 8

Cut the pickles into thin slices lengthwise. Then slice 1/2 of the white onion into thin half rings.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 8
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 8
Step 9

Wash the parsley sprigs and separate the leaves. Chop them up finely. Combine the parsley, onion, and pickles in a bowl.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 9
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 9
Step 10

Divide the dough into 4-5 balls. Roll each one out into a thin disk. Then, bake them on a wire rack in the preheated oven for 3-5 minutes.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 10
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 10
Step 11

Once the pitas have puffed up and baked through, remove them from the oven and let cool slightly. Then, carefully cut a pocket in each one.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 11
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 11
Step 12

First stuff the pitas with the vegetable mixture, and then add the chicken slices. Drizzle a little yogurt on top.

Eastern-style-pita-chicken 12
Eastern-style-pita-chicken 12
Cooking is easy!

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