Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-16We recently went out for lunch with my siblings to a Mediterranean place in downtown Tampa called the Paninoteca Cafe.  My sister, Milana, used to live in that area with her husband for a few years right after they got married, so they had eaten there frequently and highly recommended the place to all of us. The food was absolutely amazing. Everything we ordered was so well made and had lots of great flavors. The Mediterranean flavors really stuck with me, so I’ve been making a lot of their food at home lately. Homemade pita is amazing! My husband ordered this Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wrap and, of course, I had to try it too. From the very first bite I knew I would be recreating it at home.

The fluffy, warm pita bread wraps around the juicy chicken and the roasted vegetables. The zucchini, eggplant and bell pepper are all such a wonderful pairing. The garlic aioli is the perfect sauce to go along with all these other ingredients. I love how juicy this wrap is, but all the vegetables still have great texture too. It tastes so fresh. I roasted the vegetables in the oven, but I bet it would taste even better if we grilled the chicken and vegetables. I’m sure we’ll be making these wraps many, many times, so we’ll get a chance to try it both ways. This would be such a great meal to serve to company, no matter if you want to make it a typical dinner around the dining room table, or have a backyard barbecue. It’s also easy enough to serve the wraps as an extra special lunch or a quick and easy dinner. I had the Macedonian salad at the Paninoteca – also phenomenally good, made with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, fresh herbs and feta cheese, so the two would be a perfect match.

Here’s our group photo. Right after lunch we strolled on the Riverwalk in Tampa. If you live in the area, you should definitely check it out.

Family Picture February 2016-1-2

Ingredients:

Easy Garlic Aioli:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1 clove of garlic, minced or smashed

Chicken:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

juice of one lemon

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 – 1 Tablespoon other herbs, minced (optional: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, oregano, etc.)

1 teaspoon dry herbs (any spice/herb mixture that you enjoy)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tablespoon high smoke point oil (avocado oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, canola, etc)

For the pita wraps: 4-6 pita wraps

Vegetables:

2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin planks down the length of the zucchini (about 1/2  inch thick)

1 medium eggplant, sliced into thin planks down the length of the zucchini (about 1/2  inch thick)

1 large bell pepper, cut into planks

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dry herbs (any spice/herb that you enjoy)

1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions:

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-1-20Mix all the ingredients for the Garlic Aioli in a medium bowl and set aside in the refrigerator. Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-4Instead of mincing the garlic, I like to smash it with the side of my knife and add it to the mayonnaise. The smashed garlic will give flavor to the aioli, but it won’t be overpowering. I am not a big fan of lots of fresh garlic. (You can make extra Garlic Aioli, so that everyone can add more to their wrap if they like more condiments on them.)Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-5

For the chicken, first pound the chicken gently so that the chicken breasts have an even thickness. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and ground black pepper. Add the minced garlic, the fresh and dry herbs and then add the olive oil and the lemon juice. Mix the chicken so that the marinade coats both sides of the chicken.

Set the chicken aside to marinate while you prep the vegetables and then start them cooking. When you add the lemon juice, it will turn the chicken breasts into a white color. Don’t let it worry you – that is the acidity of the lemon juice reacting with the meat. I love the flavor that the lemon juice imparts to the chicken. If you want to marinate the chicken for longer than 1 hour, I suggest not adding the lemon juice until about 30 minutes before you plan to cook it. If you marinate the chicken in anything acidic for a long period of time, you risk the chicken becoming very mushy.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-3While the chicken is marinating, turn on the oven to a broiler setting.

A broiler setting is basically an upside down grill in your oven. I love the ability to get that nice char on food and getting the caramelized taste in your own kitchen instead of being forced to find an outdoor space to grill, especially during the colder months of the year. Most oven broilers have two settings – on or off. If you have the ability to set the temperature of your broiler, I like to set it as high as it goes, in my case 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the top rack of the oven about 4-6 inches from the heating element.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-6Mix the vegetables with the olive oil, garlic and season with ground black pepper and dry herb mixture, but don’t season it with salt until right before you broil them, since the salt will draw out moisture out of the vegetables, especially the zucchini, and they will become very mushy and soggy if you leave them in the salt for too long. I love the crisp texture that the vegetables have if you cook them as quick as possible. If you don’t cook the vegetables fast enough or you slice them too thin, they will be very limp, wet and mushy.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-7They cook pretty quickly, so check them often. You can broil the vegetables on both sides, or simply char them on one side, it’s up to you.
Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-12While the vegetables are roasting, pour in about 1 Tablespoon of oil into a 10 inch skillet. Heat until the oil is hot, then add the chicken to the skillet. (Make sure to remove as much of the herbs and garlic from the chicken – they add great flavor to the chicken, but will quickly burn in the skillet.) Cook the chicken on medium heat until the chicken measures 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of each chicken breast. Take the chicken out of the skillet and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing it into pieces.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-10When the vegetables are cooked through, golden brown and charred in spots, take them out of the oven and slice the vegetables into thick sticks.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-13You can grill the chicken and the vegetables instead. I have a recipe for the Grilled Chicken Breasts, and for the vegetables, just grill them on medium high heat until they are golden, charred and tender, about 10 minutes.

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken-1-7Heat each piece of pita (covered), in a microwave, oven or on the stovetop, just until heated through. (To keep the pita warm, keep it covered and keep it in the “warm setting” of the oven, or wrap it in a clean towel until ready to serve.) If you want to make pita from scratch, it’s really easy to make and the flavor and texture are so much better than store bought. Homemade Pita

Drizzle the Garlic Aioli down the center of each pita bread, top with the chicken slices and then with the vegetable slices. Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-14

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-15Sprinkle with more fresh herbs. Fold the sides of the pita over the chicken and vegetables, to form a wrap. Wrap the second bottom half of the pita wrap in parchment paper or aluminum foil and serve. Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-16Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps-19

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6 wraps
Ingredients
Easy Garlic Aioli:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or smashed
Chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • ½ - 1 Tablespoon other herbs, minced (optional: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs (any spice/herb mixture that you enjoy)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon high smoke point oil (avocado oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, canola, etc)
  • For the pita wraps: 4-6 pita wraps
Vegetables:
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin planks down the length of the zucchini (about ½ inch thick)
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into thin planks down the length of the zucchini (about ½ inch thick)
  • 1 large bell pepper, cut into planks
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs (any spice/herb that you enjoy)
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the Garlic Aioli in a medium bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. For the chicken, first pound the chicken gently so that the chicken breasts have an even thickness. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and ground black pepper. Add the minced garlic, the fresh and dry herbs and then add the olive oil and the lemon juice. Mix the chicken so that the marinade coats both sides of the chicken.
  3. Set the chicken aside to marinate while you prep the vegetables and then start them cooking. If you want to marinate the chicken for longer than 1 hour, I suggest not adding the lemon juice until about 30 minutes before you plan to cook it. If you marinate the chicken in anything acidic for a long period of time, you risk the chicken becoming very mushy.
  4. While the chicken is marinating, turn on the oven to a broiler setting. Most oven broilers have two settings - on or off. If you have the ability to set the temperature of your broiler, I like to set it as high as it goes, in my case 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the top rack of the oven about 4-6 inches from the heating element.
  5. Mix the vegetables with the olive oil, garlic and season with ground black pepper and dry herb mixture, but don’t season it with salt until right before you broil them, since the salt will draw out moisture out of the vegetables, especially the zucchini, and they will become very mushy and soggy if you leave them in the salt for too long. They cook pretty quickly, so check them often. They will take about 8-10 minutes to cook, but the time really depends on your oven. You can broil the vegetables on both sides, or simply char them on one side, it's up to you.
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, pour in about 1 Tablespoon of oil into a 10 inch skillet. Heat the skillet until the oil is hot, then add the chicken to the skillet. (Make sure to remove as much of the herbs and garlic from the chicken - they add great flavor to the chicken, but will quickly burn in the skillet.) Cook the chicken on medium heat unit the chicken measures 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of each chicken breast, about 5-7 minutes per side. Take the chicken out of the skillet and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing it into pieces.
  7. When the vegetables are cooked through, golden brown and charred in spots, take them out of the oven and slice the vegetables into thick sticks.
  8. Heat each piece of pita (covered), in a microwave, oven or on the stovetop, just until heated through. (to keep the pita warm, keep it covered and keep it in the "warm setting" of the oven, or wrap it in a clean towel until ready to serve.
  9. Drizzle the Garlic Aioli down the center of each pita bread, top with the chicken slices and then with the vegetable slices. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs. Fold the sides of the pita over the chicken and vegetables, to form a wrap. Wrap the second bottom half of the pita wrap in parchment paper or aluminum foil and serve.

21 Comments

  • Barbara

    What a great recipe – I love pita and Aioli!!!! I know it from our trips across the border to Spain – I will try this recipe soon! Just perfect for a Midweek meal . Thanks

  • Mila

    Thank you for this fantastic wrap idea. I love all the flavors!

    When I don’t want to mess with the regular grill but want the grill marks, a grill pan (I got mine at Ikea) comes really handy. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Tzivia

    Omg yummm chicken and veggies and the easy garlic aioli another yummm lol must make sometime how long do I roast the veggies and chicken was a little confused there again @ usual olya gurl u don’t disappoint btw beautiful family pic always nice to gather with family when u can

    • olgak7

      It’s really hard to give a specific time, Tzivia, because stoves and ovens have different strengths. Whenever I cook meat, I like to use a instant read thermometer, because that way, it will be perfectly cooked through but still juicy. Since chicken breast has a tendency to dry out quickly, I want to make sure not to overcook it. On my stove, it’s about 5 minutes per side for the chicken.
      The vegetables also don’t have a certain time, because it depends on how thick you cut the vegetables and ovens tend to cook differently too. I cooked mine for about 10-12 minutes.

      • Tzivia

        Ok cool wow gotta invest in a meat and candy thermometer alright so then I will give a guesstimate then mmmm @ usual all these recipes make my mouth water

  • Irina

    Just made these and enjoying a pita as I write…. soooo good! The eggplant turned out to be bad on the inside, so had to toss that, will definitely make again, with eggplant of course! Thanks for such great recipes.

  • Mary

    Delicious looking recipe. Love the photo detail instructions……photos are gorgeous. Pinned. Beautiful family photo, making such sweet memories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lana

    Made these today and my family loved it! My husband thought it was an absolutely great idea to broil the vegetables and it even had that grill taste too, yummm!! Thank you, Olga, you are an awesome cook! Also made your blueberry and pineapple gelatin desert and boy was that DELISIOUS!

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