We spent the last week in Corolla, NC, with our close friends and neighbors, enjoying the beach, fun in the sun, drinks, and most important.. good food! We decided to eat in each night, giving me a wonderful opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, and I really took advantage of the opportunity by trying things that I hadn’t prepared before.
After flipping through my latest issue of Bon Appetit, I felt a spark of inspiration from a moroccan chicken pita sandwich that looked absolutely delicious. The only problem was that the recipe called for ingredients that would be numerous and costly, and since we were on vacation, I wanted to keep things simple. I knew that I already had onion, garlic, and fresh herbs on hand, so I decided to build a chicken pita burger based around those ingredients.
One of my favorite accompaniments for pita is tzatziki (recipe below), so I had a thought to use it as one of the burger toppings, rather than using traditional condiments. In deciding that I would take the burgers in more of a mediterranean direction, I gathered more non-traditional burger ingredients for the pitas: cucumber, spinach, black olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and avocado slices. The cucumber and the spinach made for a nice crunchy bite, while the roasted red peppers and olives added a salty and sweet component.
My only concern was that chicken burgers would dry out on the grill. So, to keep the chicken moist, I added a beaten egg to the mixture, and made sure that the burgers were ONLY flipped on the grill, not pressed or smashed, which would have caused more of the moisture to leak out.
The burgers turned out really good. Better than I had expected! They were moist and juicy with tons of flavors from the addition of onion, lemon zest and fresh herbs. The toppings added lots of flavor and crunch to the burger, and the pita was the perfect vessel for holding it all together. The burgers did end up a bit stuffed, so I opted to enjoy my avocado slices on the side with squeezed lemon, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
This is a really great dinner option for breaking up the monotony of a boring dinner routine, and was really no more difficult than making regular beef burgers (not to mention that it’s a whole lot healthier!). I highly recommend giving them a try next time you’re looking for something interesting to make for dinner! Enjoy
- White or whole wheat pita bread, halved into pockets
- 2 lbs ground chicken
- ¼ cup chopped dill
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tbsp scallions (dark green part only)
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- Tzatziki (recipe follows)
- Tomato sliced and halved
- Roasted red peppers, sliced
- Baby Spinach
- Cucumber, sliced thin
- Black olives
- Avocado, sliced thin and dressed with lemon, oil, salt and pepper
- Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl being careful to not over mix. Add beaten egg last.
- With lightly oiled hands, form into medium sized patties and set aside on parchment paper until ready to grill. (note: mixture will be slightly sticky)
- Grill approximately 4-6 minutes per side, or until done. Be careful to not press or smash burgers while on the grill.
- Serve in warmed pita pockets with toppings of choice.
- Container of Greek strained yogurt, preferred FAGE Total
- ½ juicy lemon
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped cucumber
- 1 scallion, white and green parts
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and check for flavor, adding more herbs, lemon, cucumber, salt or pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for approximately ½ hour before serving.
- Serve drizzled lightly with olive oil.
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