If you’ve seen my recent posts, you can tell that I’ve been guilty of indulging in some less healthy dishes. Watching the Food Network late at night can do that to you. Well, I’m making a change this week and presenting meals that are easier on the waistline, specifically, my waistline. In an effort to lower the number on the scale, I am preparing a healthy yet flavorful Moroccan chicken pita sandwich. Braised chicken is tossed with olives, roasted peppers, and tomatoes and stuffed in warm pita bread to make one flavorful and satisfying meal.

moroccan chicken pita
moroccan chicken pita

 

Serves 4

342

Moroccan chicken pita sandwiches

2 hr, 45 Total Time

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Ingredients

    Marinade
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 pita bread
  • hummus, optional

Instructions

  1. CCombine seasonings for the marinade (cayenne-olive oil) in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back to the pan along with 1/2 lemon and 1/4 cup olives. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until the chicken is tender about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, roast the bell pepper directly on the stove top until the skin has blackened. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skin, discarding the stem and seeds. Chop the pepper.
  5. Remove chicken from heat. Shred the meat, discarding the bones. Toss together with the olives, roasted bell pepper, tomatoes, cilantro. Squeeze the halved lemon and 2 tbsp of the braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toast the pita bread. Split open and stuff with the chicken mixture. Serve with hummus if desired.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

Although this recipe uses chicken drumsticks, feel free to substitute with chicken breast for an even healthier meal. I personally prefer the dark meat because it’s much more tender and juicy. Dark meat is more forgiving than light, especially when it comes to long cooking periods.

marinade chicken
When preparing the chicken, all the flavor comes from the olives, lemon, and the chicken itself. You can already see the broth being flavored from the fond as soon as it is added to the pot. The fond refers to the browned bits and caramelized drippings from the chicken that was seared in the previous step.

braise chicken with lemon, olives, and chicken stock

Another reason I prefer to use chicken legs instead of chicken breast is the bone. The bone imparts more flavor to the broth, which will later become a sauce and binder for the filling.

shred chicken

A short while later and the chicken is falling off the bone.

toss chicken together with remaining ingredients

Toss together with the tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, lemon juice, and broth. Stuff in warm pita bread and you have your Moroccan chicken pita sandwich. The fresh, bright tomatoes with the briny olives and juicy chicken is a wonderful combination. Enjoy with hummus or even tzatziki for extra oomph. Lunch is served!

moroccan chicken pita

 

 Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.

 

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