December 10, 2012

Easy Fake Middle Eastern Chicken Salad

I think it's the turmeric and baba ganoush that makes this chicken dinner taste vaguely of Middle Eastern cuisine, but I know nothing of which I speak, hence the fake in the title.  The food that came out of my grandmother's kitchen was authentically Puerto Rican--empanadillas and pasteles--or stereotypically American--hot dogs and hamburgers.

There are spices here that I only discovered as an adult and I really love them. Allspice. What are you and why do you keep calling my name? Try this recipe and experiment with the amount of each of the spices. I once made this with so much turmeric, I served my husband a bright yellow dinner. Yes, he ate it!

  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • pita bread
  • baba ganoush
  • a head of lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • olive oil

Combine all of the spices with the chicken in a large bowl. Add olive oil to coat; about 3-4 tablespoons. I used chicken thighs because I like the dark meat flavor and the low price. You could easily replace this with chicken breast. You could also cut this into bite-sized pieces when it's raw. I didn't do this because I have a thing about cutting raw meat. If you have no such hang-ups, you'll also have quicker cooking time.

Cook over medium low heat, turning once. This takes less than 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, clean and chop the lettuce and cucumber. If you've had a long day, have a glass of wine.

Once the chicken is done and in bite-sized pieces, it's time to assemble your pita. Now, I do this without taking advantage of the pocket. You could do this in the pocket and create a portable lunch, but I'm making more of a salad on a deliciously edible plate. So, spread the baba ganoush on the pita.

Add the greens.

Add the chicken and enjoy that wine!

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