Saturday, April 23, 2011

IS IT A PIZZA OR A PITA?

As much as I enjoy cooking at home, I really enjoy eating out nearly as much. It may be due to the fact that when I'm out for lunch or dinner it is a more social time since normally I am eating alone at home. Meeting friends for lunch or dinner is something I do often - bringing them home to eat with me, not so much unless it's a special occassion.
There are an abundance of wonderful places to eat in our area and occassionally, I will have something at a local restaurant that I will attempt to recreate at home for days when I don't have someone to go out with.

Chicken "Pitza" dinner a al Aladdin's
Such is the case with the Chicken Pitza at Aladdin's Eatery. Part pita wrap, part pizza, this little item packs a lot of flavor. Their menu describes this as: a pita with "Honey Dijon dressing and Garlic Sauce topped with chunks of char-grilled chicken tenders, julienne green peppers and diced scallions".  Yum!

Although I have a date set up to meet a friend for lunch at Aladdin's again next week, I have been so craving one of these pitza's I've decided to try to make one at home. I hope to quench the craving at home allowing me try another of their wonderful menu items this time around. 

Hoping that the nice folks at Aladdin's will feel that imiatation is the sincerest form of flattery, I do believe I've hit the nail on the head here.  To get a full middle Eastern effect, try my hummus recipe to go along with this meal.  I chose a simple salad for tonight because the fresh greens are available now from the farm markets. 

CHICKEN PITZA
For the pita, make sure you find a true pita bread and not the pocketless flatbreads that are all over the groceries these days.  Split the pita into to rounds through the pocket (you cannot do that with a flatbread). 
1 pita round (split in halve horizontally - half set aside for another use)
1 marinated chicken cutlet* (see recipe below)
5 Tablespoons honey mustard garlic sauce **(see recipe below)
4-5 thin strips green pepper
1 scallion sliced thinly

PREPARE THE CHICKEN

Preheat a heavy grill pan over medium high heat. Remove the chicken cutlet from the marinade and wipe off most of the marinade and discard. Grill the chicken on the preheated pan 2-3 minutes per side, depending upon the thickness of the cutlet.


Remove the chicken from the grill and cut into chunks.

ASSEMBLE THE PITZA

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On the pita half, evenly spread the honey mustard garlic sauce. Place on a sheet pan and top with the chicken pieces, green pepper strips and scallion slices.

Bake the pitza for 10-15 minutes.
Watch carefully toward the end of the baking time so that the sugars in the honey mustard sauce do not burn.

Remove from the oven, cut into four slices and serve.
*MARINADE FOR CHICKEN
Don't marinate the chicken for too long before grilling or the lemon juice will begin to cook the chicken rather than simply flavor it.  Marinate at least 10 minutes, not longer than 20. 

juice from half a fresh lemon
1 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 ounce chicken cutlet

**HONEY MUSTARD GARLIC SAUCE
I mixed up this sauce the night before so that it was waiting for me to use. This makes about 2 cups of sauce to keep in the fridge for other things like sandwich spreads, fresh veggie dip or asauce for chicken fingers.

6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove - turned to paste

Mix well and refrigerate for at least a few hours for the flavors to combine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this dish at Aladdin's! As a full-time student I don't have the time or money to go out to eat that often. I am looking forward to trying this tonight at home. Thanks!