Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

It’s reveal day for the monthly Muslim Food Blogger Challenge! This month’s challenge was to try a fellow Muslimah blogger’s recipe. To be very honest, this was hard for me. I follow a large number of amazing and creative Muslimah bloggers, and I had the hardest time narrowing them all down to one. Whose recipe do I share, or whose do I exclude? Do I share a recipe that I make often, or do I share something that was made for a special occasion?

The truth is that the Muslimah blogging community is a large community, and it is ever growing. Our community spans across the globe, and is full of wonderful, creative, and supportive women. We are a patchwork quilt, made up of different colors and fabrics and various textures and grains. I have leaned on this wonderful community for support, and they have not only supported me, but have lifted me up. Each of you hold a special place in heart, and I pray that The Almighty raises you in His ranks.

 

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Today I am sharing a recipe from This Muslim Girl Bakes. It is a chicken pita with spicy garlic sauce. I’ve made this multiple times, and each time it is a hit. The first time I made it, I made homemade pitas (!!!) to serve with them, and omg, so so good! The times I’ve made it after, I just used store-bought pita due to time constraints. If you have the means and time to do so, I would highly recommend making you own pita bread. It’s so easy, and tastes infinite times better than store bought.

Back to recipe- the marinade on the chicken is amazing! Obviously the longer you allow it to marinate, the better, but if you’re pressed for time it tastes good even with a 20 minute stand. I must add that the spicy garlic sauce is phenomenal! It’s so good in these pitas, and I imagine it would be amazing used as a burger sauce as well!

As always, I look forward to these challenges each month. I’m excited to see what everyone is sharing for this month’s challenge, and if you also would like to take a look, just click on the button below:

 

 

Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Chicken:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Spicy Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce or chili garlic paste (sambal oelek)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For Pitas:

  • Pocket pita bread, lightly toasted, as needed
  • Tomatoes, sliced, as needed
  • Lettuce, shredded, as needed

Directions:

Prepare Chicken:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken, until smooth. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight; if marinating longer than a few hours, refrigerate marinated chicken.).

Heat a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and remaining marinade. Cover and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side. Once chicken is cooked through, increase heat and cook off as much of the marinade as possible without burning the mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare Spicy Garlic Sauce:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Set aside.

Assemble Pitas:

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or slice into desired size pieces.

Place chicken, tomatoes, and lettuce inside the pita. Top generously with spicy garlic sauce.

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Chicken Over Rice (Halal Cart Inspired)

We visited New York two years ago, and while there I was able to try a plate of Chicken over Rice from the famous Halal Carts (didn’t get a chance to visit the OG of halal carts, the Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th. Boo!). You guys, that’s some good stuff! There is a local restaurant that sells New York Style Gyros, which truly aren’t gyros, but actually a personal take on Chicken over Rice. Whenever we visit this restaurant, we always get an order of it. To say it is delicious is an understatement.

This recipe, courtesy of Flour and Spice, is a homemade take on the yumminess that is Chicken over Rice. The marinade on the chicken is fabulous and so versatile, that I imagine it would be great in anything (sandwiches, pizza, salad!). The original recipe also includes a recipe for homemade harissa (!), which I didn’t include because I had a jar stored in the refrigerator that needed to be used up.

 

ChickenOverRicePic

Chicken Over Rice

(Halal Cart Inspired)

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For White Sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water, cold
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste

For Chicken:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For Rice:

  • 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 2 hours
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For Toppings:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pocketless pita bread, buttered or oiled and toasted, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Harissa or hot sauce

Directions:

Make White Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

Note: White sauce can be made in advance and kept refrigerated.

Make Chicken:

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add chicken and marinate for several hours (overnight is best).

Heat a lightly greased fry pan over medium heat. Add chicken, along with marinade, and cook until completely cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken and cooked marinade to a plate to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, dice the chicken into bite size pieces and toss with the cooked marinade/juices. Set aside.

Make Rice:

Melt butter in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add turmeric and cumin powder, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add drained rice and stir to coat. Toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow the rice to sit undisturbed (do not remove lid) for an additional 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Assemble:

Place rice in a plate, top with diced chicken, shredded lettuce, diced pita, and white sauce and harissa as needed.

Marinara Sauce

I’ve been on the lookout for a homemade Marinara recipe for a really long time.  I’ve been slowly trying to incorporate more homemade pantry staples (although this recipe uses canned crushed tomatoes… you win some, you lose some, right?) and I’ve finally found a red sauce that I can call the sauce.  This recipe is very easy to whip up, and it is wonderful used as a dip (a recipe for focaccia, where I use this sauce as a dip, is coming very soon), as a pasta sauce, and even as a base for pizza. Another great thing about this marinara sauce is that it freezes wonderfully! I made a large batch and froze individual jars of sauce for later use.  Whenever I needed some, I simply left it out of the counter for a few hours, and voilà!  Marinara at your service 🙂   MarinaraPic

Marinara Sauce

Yield: 3 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar

Directions: Heat oil in a large vessel over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, and bay leaf, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are completely tender. Stir in butter and brown sugar. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Remove and discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the sauce until smooth.

Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

Do you remember how I mentioned that I made an ice cream bar for Zuni’s birthday party back in May?  Well, this Vanilla Bean Caramel was one of the components of said bar.  I used the basic recipe from my trusted ice cream source, The Perfect Scoop, and added a vanilla bean to take it over the top (much thanks to Annie’s Eats for the idea!).  The result is a luscious sauce that is amazing poured over ice cream, stirred into coffee, used sandwiched between cookies, and even eaten directly from the jar (hey, don’t look this way, it was just a suggestion) 😉

 

VanillaBeanCaramelPic

 

Vanilla Bean Caramel

Yield: 1 ½ Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Spread sugar evenly at the bottom of a large saucepan. Place over medium-low heat. When the sugar begins to liquefy around the edges, use a heatproof spatula to gently stir it towards the center. Continue stirring very gently until all of the sugar has melted, making sure not to over-stir.

Measure out the heavy whipping cream into a small bowl, and scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into it. Add the bean itself to the cream as well. Set aside.

Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, immediately remove from heat. Whisk in half of the cream mixture, making sure to work carefully as the caramel will bubbly and steam violently. Once the cream has been incorporated, stir in the remaining cream and mix well. Stir in vanilla and salt. If any sugar has hardened, place the saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth.

When cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The vanilla bean can stay in the caramel or be thrown away, according to preference.