Greek Chicken Salad Pitas

Yumm… I really didn’t say much else as I inhaled these pita’s.  I took the inspiration from my favorite pasta salad they offer in Byerly’s Deli section.  I have had this on my mind to make in the form of pita since one day at work I couldn’t make up my mind between a pita or pasta.   Combine them both, isn’t that how some of the best dishes come to past?  Someone gets an idea to combine the best of both worlds.  I knew this version of chicken salad already existed but, I had a few things to deal with.   One being, my husbands lack of love for olives, and mine for feta.  Also, i decided that I would make my own pita bread a while ago and this sounded like a great first to go with that first.

I decided on keeping it simple, and quick.  I made the filling while the pita dough was rising, so took less then 20 min in total.  Great dish for a quick lunch, evening dinner, or later afternoon snack.  Especially if you already have the pita bread on-hand or frozen, then just thaw in a warm oven and you got a fast healthy meal.   For the feta just buy your favorite brand, I really like Athenos, and it comes in 4 oz containers perfect size for this meal.   The olives you can now buy in the deli or cheese area of most grocery stores, this saves on you having to buy a whole jar when you probably will not need or use them all.   Over all a great dish that also makes a easy lunch for next work day.

Greek Chicken Salad

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Roma Tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c Spanish(Red) Onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried (1 tsp if using fresh)
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Dill, dried or fresh
  • 7 oz Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 c Mayonaise
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 large Kalamata Olives, pitted and diced.
  • 4 oz Feta, crumbled

In a small pan over medium heat add olive oil, garlic, and oregano.  Saute until fragrant.  Add in the chicken and lemon zest and cook until chicken is no longer pink and has a nice golden brown color.  Once chicken is cooked, taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Place chicken on a plate to cool, you can speed things up by placing in refrigerator.

In a medium bowl add the dill, yogurt,  mayonnaise, and lemon juice.  Stir until well combined.  Add in the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, feta, and chicken.  Lightly toss to coat.  Taste, I cannot say this enough.  Taste your food as you are going this helps you make any needed alterations.  Add salt to taste.  Chill or serve immediately with fresh pita bread or just over lettuce for a nice light salad.  Makes enough for 6-8 pita sandwiches.

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Pita Bread

 

I have always wanted to make pita bread, mostly because well I like to bake and I love pita sandwiches.  I read a few different recipes and the ingredients are basically the same.  Just some slight different techniques to cooking.   I tried one batch by brushing it with olive oil, one with nothing, and one brushed with water.   I found the ones that had water brushed on the top prior to baking had the best results with puffing up, and softness.   One thing to take note of is when rolling out, make sure to try and keep thickness evenly distributed.  I had a few that had some thin spots, they didn’t puff up as well or at all.    I made alterations to the recipe based on what I did.

I was in a hurry, no that’s a lie.  I was playing Final Fantasy 13, so I tossed everything in a bread machine on the dough setting so I could beat a boss fight.  Yep, bringing my gamer geek side to my blog.  I am not ashamed.   Back to the food.   Granted using the bread machine helped, but it was a lot easier then I thought it would be to make these.  I was afraid of not having pita pockets but really big chips.  I wrote  the directions with what achieved the best results for me in regards to softness, puffy domes, and ease.  Enjoy.

Basic Pita Bread

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 3 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 Packet (7g) Active Dry Yeast

Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine, select Dough setting and start. When dough has risen long enough, machine will beep.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into rope form.  With a sharp knife cut it in half.  Cut one of the halves into half, and then cut each of those into half.  Giving you four equal portions.  Repeat with other half of original cut of dough, ending with eight equal portions.

Lightly flour your hands and kneed each portion into smooth ball.  Cover with a tea towel.  Only roll out what you are going to bake 3-4 at a time.  Roll each ball into a 6” circle.  After each is rolled out.  Place on a lightly floured cookie sheet laying flat but not overlapping, cover with a tea towel.  Let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat you’re oven to 475F.

After 30 minutes, lightly brush the tops of the dough with water, and place in the oven.  Bake for 5-8 minutes, or just until turning slightly golden brown.  Remove from tray and wrap in a damp tea towel to soften.  Once they are soft cut in half with a sharp knife or keep whole.  They can be stored in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.

Adapted: Allrecipes