Thursday, 14 January 2016

Loaded Pita Bread with Chicken, Hummus, Feta Cheese and Greek Salad

This loaded pita bread is a cross between a pizza and an open faced sandwhich...the pita bread, hummus, chicken and feta cheese are baked and warm, while the Greek salad and basil yoghurt are cold.

This was inspired by the baby cucumbers and red peppers I had, as well as the little bit of remaining plain Greek yoghurt. I knew that there was some pita bread in the freezer, and instead of making pita chips with it (my original plan) I decided to use it as the base for the whole meal of Greek chicken, salad, hummus and yoghurt.

My husband made the hummus, adding in the last large red pepper that he roasted, peeled and chopped.

Marinate 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts for at least an hour, in:

The juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons oil from sundried tomatoes
Pinch of chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Cook the chicken breasts in a pan over medium high heat, until cooked through. No oil is needed, as there is enough oil in the marinade to prevent it from sticking.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, make the basil yoghurt by combining:

1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Set the yoghurt aside until serving time. Prepare the Greek salad for the topping by dicing cucumber, red peppers and grape tomatoes.  Crumble some feta cheese. Thinly slice the cooled chicken. Heat the oven to 350F. Now it's time to assemble the pita breads...

Place the pita bread onto a baking sheet and spread a layer of hummus over the bread.

Place a layer of thinly sliced chicken on top of the hummus, and sprinkle some crumbled feta over the chicken.

Place the topped pita breads into the oven and bake until everything is hot.

Place a loaded pita bread onto a plate, and top with a generous mound of chopped peppers, cucumbers and grape tomatoes.

Sprinkle a bit more crumbled feta over the Greek salad.

To serve, add a dollop of the basil yoghurt on top of the Greek salad. These can be messy to eat, but that's part of the fun!

  • I turned the usual meal of Greek chicken, hummus, tzatziki, Greek salad and pita chips into one item by loading it all onto the pita bread. The other alternative is to warm the pita bread and fill it with the other ingredients, either by rolling it wrap style or stuffing the pita pocket.
  • I chose to make a basil yoghurt for the cool freshness it would provide; it was a substitute for the usual tzatziki. 
  • Other herbs that work well in Mediterranean inspired food are oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley.
  • My husband usually makes the hummus in our house, and likes to add in roasted red pepper. Purchased hummus can be used if you choose. Tapenade can be used instead if you prefer.
  • Other meats can be used, try prawns; firm fish such as salmon or cod; pork; lamb; meatballs or cooked sausage; leftover chicken.
  • The Greek salad has no dressing; the yoghurt and the creaminess from the hummus take care of that. A drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice can be added just before serving if you wish.
  • Thinly sliced red or green onions, olives, whole chick peas can be added into the salad for added texture and flavour.
  • When marinating the chicken I used the olive oil that my sundried tomatoes are stored in; you can choose to use just olive oil, or even a flavoured olive oil. 
  • Add lemon zest to the marinade to increase the intensity of the lemon. The addition of crushed fennel seeds adds a hint of licorice, but can be omitted.

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