As you are well aware, our girl Crist is always trying to help us all find ways to make our thrice-weekly chicken dinners less boring. I think I usually avoid the “chicken is so BORING” feeling, because we often eat meatless meals, and those are a lot easier to mix up; but, when I DO make chicken, I want it to be flavorful and interesting, and, of course, tasty. No small feat, to be sure, but this recipe manages to accomplish all of those goals!
(I know the recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, and it does – but a lot of them are things you’ll already have in your pantry or fridge, and nothing is unusual or hard to find!)
Grilled Chicken Tzatziki Pitas
adapted from here
For the marinade:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds, total)
1/2 c plain greek yogurt (2% or more, don’t use 0%)
2 T honey
zest and juice of one lemon
1 T hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot)
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
For the cucumber relish:
1 English cucumber, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
2-3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 large sweet onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
4 T fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 T fresh dill, minced
2 T olive oil
juice of one lemon
large pinch of kosher salt
For pita assembly:
extra greek yogurt
4-6 pitas (the soft, bready kind, not the big, dry, papery style)
1.) Start by marinating your chicken. Whisk together all of your marinade ingredients, and pour them into a large ziploc bag. Add the chicken, squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, and seal it. Make sure all the chicken is evenly coated in marinade, place the bag into a bowl, and place it in the fridge. Allow the chicken to marinate for 2-4 hours.
2.) To start your cucumber relish, place your sliced cucumbers into a large colander or sieve, set over a bowl or in the sink. Sprinkle the cucumbers with a good pinch of salt, and stir them every few minutes for about 40 minutes or so; this will draw a lot of their water out, and prevent your cucumber relish from being too watery later.
3.) When your cucumbers are ready, stir them together with all the other relish ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
4.) Remove your marinated chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to cook it, to take a bit of the chill off of it. Heat a grill pan over medium heat, and brush it lightly with olive oil (alternatively, you can cook this chicken on an actual grill, or just in a large skillet, if you don’t have a grill pan). Cook the chicken until it’s completely cooked through, about 8-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Remove it to a plate to rest for a few minutes.
5.) Wipe out your grill pan, lightly brush your pitas with olive oil, and grill them until they’re warm and toasty.
6.) Spread each pita with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, top with lots of cucumber relish, and finish with the chicken (I prefer mine thinly sliced, on an angle, but you can cut it up however you’d like). Dig in!
These chicken pitas are awesome. The cucumber relish is so light and refreshing, and the slightly spicy yogurt marinade adds the perfect kick to everything. It would be great for a crowd, too – just marinate a bunch of chicken, throw it all on the grill, and let everyone assemble their own pitas!
Say “tzatziki” 5 times fast,