First of all, happy National Pierogi Day! I certainly celebrated with a box of Mrs. T’s Potato and Cheese. My personal method for pierogi prep and serving is sauteed with mushrooms and onions, served with a side of sauteed green beans. (No pics, I was busy eating.) The whole purpose of turning on my computer after work tonight was to document a recent successful improvisation dubbed “Pita Chicken.”

Created from a craving for shwarma and a lack of motivation to wander down Sheridan for kebab, Pita Chicken is fast, fucking delicious, and makes plenty of leftovers the next day.

    Get Thee

2 lbs of chicken breast, cut on the diagonal
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 tbsp of the following: cumin, garam masala, chile powder
1/2 tbsp cinnamon (Saigon cinnamon is excellent.)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 English cucumber, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 container of Sabra roasted garlic hummus
1 tbsp olive oil
1 packet of Kontos brand roghani naan (You’re right. It’s not pita at all, although pita would work just fine. Naan happens to be the preference in my household.)

    Assemble

1) Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Slice the chicken into one inch strips, then cut the strips on the diagonal into 3/4 inch chunks. Toss the bird into the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste – roughly 1 tsp of each. Stir until outside is opaque.
2) Add all the spices – cumin, garam masala, chile powder, cinnamon, and coriander. Stir some more and on and off to prevent sticking until the chicken is cooked through – about 10 minutes or the length of time it took me to hang up a mountain of laundry.
3) If you aren’t putting away laundry, thinly slice the cucumber and onion.
4) Once the chicken is done, heat 1/4 tsp of oil in another skillet. Once it’s hot, add one of the naan. Sort of rotate it in quarter turns on one side, flip it, rotate by quarter turns, flip it, etc. Repeat until the naan puffs up a bit and has nice toasty spots on both sides. Put it on a plate. Repeat with the remaining four naan and 1/4 tsps of olive oil.
5) Assuming hearty appetites, dole out two naan per person. Spread a large dollop of hummus on each. Arrange portions of chicken, cucumbers, and red onions on top of each. Eat like a taco.

    Side Notes

1) The Gentleman Scholar swears that mayonnaise is amazing on this. I remain skeptical. It’s mayonnaise after all.
2) Naan should be warmed in the method described in step #4. I have no problem with it “raw,” but it’s tastier and certainly more pliable for bending in half if warmed first.
3) You won’t use all the cooked chicken, veggies, and hummus. That’s for the next day to eat with naan, either “raw” or pre-toasted the night before. As a recommendation, “raw” naan is easier to transport. You can just schlep the package into your lunch satchel along with the chicken and veggies in separate containers.
4) Sandwich prep is a highly personal thing. Unless you know exactly how your guests like theirs, I recommend letting them assemble their own.

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