Some time last year, my younger sister had a school camping trip to go to and obviously she needed something to nibble on in the bus on the way to their camping site. Aside from crisps, candy and cool drink, I realised the night before her departure that there wasn’t anything substantial for her to take with for the bus ride. I had to act fast, or else she’d call our mum half-way there and cry about how hungry she is. (Not really, she didn’t have a phone at the time. But you get the idea lol!)
So, I decided to make Crispy Chicken-Stuffed Pitas. I’d made the Pitas before, but with a different filling. However, I didn’t have all the ingredients necessary to replicate the recipe and so, the crispy-chicken salad filling was birthed. I believe in not having to pay for something when I know I can make it on my own at less of a cost, that’s why I make even the pita pockets from scratch.
This recipe is suitable for either breakfast, lunch or supper provided you are patient because it is not the fastest of recipes to whip up – takes about an hour and a half in total if you are a turtle-paced perfectionist like I am. However, the time it takes is absolutely worth it! It’s pretty simple & tasty, and the best part about it is that when it comes to the spicing and the filling you can absolutely wing it to suit your taste buds or your pantry’s availability.
Do try it out and let me know how it goes!
Xo – Jo
What you will need
For the Pita Pockets:
1 Tablespoon of yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 – 3 ½ cups of flour
For the Chicken filling:
3-4 chicken breasts (or the equivalent in chicken removed from the bones)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of flour
½ green pepper and red pepper (or just either one)
Spice mix (I literally just mix in whatever spices I have that go well with chicken)
Pinch of salt to taste
Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (literally any kind)
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce (optional)
Half a lettuce head (chopped)
1- 2 Tomatoes
How to make the Pita Pockets
- In a bowl at the yeast and warm water together and stir gently until all the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Add to it 1 ½ cups of the flour and the teaspoon of salt and mix it together (either in a mixer or using a wooden spoon. Either one works just as well).
- Add one more cup of flour and mix it in.
- Add in the last cup of flour and mix it until it is well mixed and develops a thick consistency.
- Dust a cutting board or tray with flour and place the dough you’ve just made onto it and begin to knead it until it becomes slightly firm, and doesn’t stick to your fingers or the board at all. Then shape it up into a ball.
- Let the dough rest for a few minutes and thereafter use a knife to cut it into 8-10 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece into a smaller ball and then roll it out into circles that are about 15cm-20cm in diameter. Kinda how you would if you were making pizza. Just make sure not to press too hard otherwise you destroy any chance of air pockets forming when you put it in the oven.
- Let it rest for 20 minutes. (Preheat the oven in the mean time to 220 °C)
- Place the rolled out dough on your oven tray and ‘bake’ for 7-9 minutes. As it rises, just make sure to check that it does not become too dry/hard. As soon as the air pockets properly form, give it about a minute or 2 then remove from the oven and let it cool down.
- Slice each Pita pocket right down the middle.
How to make the Chicken filling
- Chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces and cook in 3-4 cups of water until tender. To the water, ensure that you’ve added your chosen spices so that the flavor is infused into the chicken.
- While that’s cooking, slice your green and/or red peppers and dice your tomatoes and cucumber. If you haven’t chopped your lettuce yet, you can do that too during this time.
- Once the chicken is tender, drain the water and let it cool down before you move on to the “crisp-ation” phase. Otherwise you’ll burn your fingers off, and we don’t want that now do we?
- While the chicken cools down, move on to making the mayo-dressing. Mix the mayo and tomatoe sauce together. Add in the black pepper and some finely chopped parsely if you happen to have any.
- By now your chicken has cooled down enough for you to start with the next phase. Dunk the chicken pieces in the egg and make sure each piece is fully covered in it, then dunk them in the flour (for added flavour, add some spices or dried herbs to the flour). Dunk them again in egg and then again in flour and then fry them – either in a fryer or a small pot half-filled with oil – until golden brown.
Optional Extra: In a lightly oiled pan, fry together your sliced peppers, diced tomatoes and cucumber for 3-5 minutes just to soften it, and add a pinch of salt to it. Then add your crispy chicken to this.
If you don’t want to fry these, you can add them to the filling as is 🙂 .
Start filling each Pita pocket. Start of with the lettuce, add to that the chicken and pepper mix and lastly drizzle (or spoon, which ever works for you) the mayo-dressing right on top.
And Voila! You have yourself a delicious home-made Crispy Chicken-Stuffed Pita. Like I said, thank me later hahah!
I’d love to hear from you if you decide to try out the recipe. Halla at me on my facebook page, or on instagram.