Chicken Curry Pita
By Kayli Cummings – BYU Dietetic Intern
I love Indian chicken and Greek taziki sauce so why not combine them together to make a wonderful chicken pita? I was playing around with these two favorites when I decided to put the chicken and sauce together on a warm pita. With the great spices and cool, tart Greek yogurt, it soon became a family favorite.
There are two parts to this recipe: the chicken and the taziki sauce. Here’s a walk-through on how it’s done:
Preparing the Chicken:
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
Start by cutting the chicken into slices approximately 3 inches long. (Note: I prefer the chicken a little smaller so it soaks up more of the flavor.)
Next, you will need to prepare the sauce. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and 3 garlic cloves. (Note: For convenience, I like to use the minced garlic that comes in a bottle. Keep in mind when you use the minced garlic ½ teaspoon equals 1 garlic clove. In this case you would need 1-½ teaspoons of garlic.)
Mix all the ingredients until everything is evenly incorporated. Pour the sauce over the chicken and let the chicken marinate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the taziki sauce.
This is one of my favorite sauces! Not just for this recipe, but I use it for salads, vegetable dip, fish, dip for chips, and even put it on burgers. It tastes awesome, but the best part about this dip is that its HEALTHY! The base is plain greek yogurt. This rich creamy yogurt contains about 30% of your daily value for protein and 20% calcium. Plus it’s low in calories, fat, and sugar.
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 cucumber peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic clove, minced
To prepare the dill weed pull the leaves off of the steam and chop the leaves finely. Fresh dill weed can be found in the produce section of the grocery store. I prefer the fresh because of its flavor. (Fun Fact: Dill weed doesn’t actually come from a weed, but is a herb valued for its flavor and vitamins A and C.) Next, peel the cucumber and mince it into small pieces.
Use a medium sized bowl for mixing together the ingredients for the taziki sauce. Add 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 3 cloves chopped garlic (Or 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic), and 1 tablespoon lemon juice (use the juice leftover from the chicken marinade) to the bowl. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Refrigerate the sauce until your ready to eat.
After the chicken marinates in the sauce for 20 minutes, it’s time to begin cooking. Using a large skillet, turn the stove to medium high and pour in marinated chicken (include the sauce, it cooks out). Cook the chicken for approximately 10 minutes until the edges start to brown. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to be sure it has reached 155oF. With the chicken cooked and sauce prepared, all that is left is assembling the pita.
ASSEMBLING THE PITA
- 4 (6-inch) pitas (white or whole wheat)
- 4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
- 2 tomatoes
Wash the lettuce under cold water and cut off the head of the lettuce, then separate the leaves and dry. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting into ¼ inch slices. If desired, warm the pitas in the microwave for 20 seconds or heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Place a lettuce leaf and 2-3 sliced tomatoes on each pita. Top with warm chicken and drizzle with taziki sauce.