I am totally hooked on pita bread at the moment! I love the taste, how versatile they are and they’re a much healthier option than bread! If you find bread makes you feel full and lethargic, as I do, try pita bread, you won’t go back. They’re even a great alternative to pop in the kid’s lunch box for school.
My favourite ways to enjoy pita bread are as wraps – using last night’s leftover meat and adding salad, cheese and sour cream, rolling them up; pockets – gently frying the pita in a frypan, cutting them in half and filling them with lots of goodies like beans, salad, meats and cheeses; or I use them as dipping chips – cut the pita into triangles, bake in the oven and you have instant, healthy chip alternatives for your favourite dips.
I have been experimenting with so many different meats, seasonings and ingredients over the past couple of months to create some amazing fillings. Even if I’ve cooked a roast lamb the night before, that will end up in my pita bread for lunch the next day! I have quite a few new recipes for fillings that I look forward to sharing with you.
This pulled chicken recipe came to me as everywhere I looked on Pinterest, in my Facebook feed and reading all of my friend’s posts on pulled pork or brisket (beef) that I needed to make some. As I didn’t have any pork or beef in the freezer, chicken thighs poked out from the freezer, begging to be used!
Why did I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast, apart from the fact that they were in my freezer? It really is personal preference. As I use chicken thighs for all my curried chicken dishes, I know they retain their moisture when cooked for short periods of time. All the fat is rendered away when cooked in a sauce and they absorb so much flavour that you’ll just want more! (I never cook enough) Chicken breasts are better suited to being poached in a liquid which keeps their moisture for shredding. They can easily be overcooked if done in a sauce and I find dry chicken meat is not my favourite! Plus chicken was quicker to prepare than pulled pork or beef – I didn’t really have hours of slow cooking in my favour.
Do you have a favourite cuisine you like to cook or only cook as that’s your culture? Well I just can’t get enough of Asian – I think I may have been Asian in another lifetime as I’m totally hooked on dumplings, stir fries, dried chillies, soy sauce, ginger, turmeric, cutlery & crockery – I just can’t get enough! I absolutely love the wonderful surprise of sweet, sour, salty and spicy in all Asian food. So using Asian flavours and condiments (apart from the sour cream) was second nature to me for this recipe.
TIP 1: Pictured in the ingredients is corn flour. It wasn’t used this time around but I always keep it on hand in case the sauce doesn’t thicken naturally. If you need to thicken your sauce, combine 1 tablespoon of corn flour and 2 tablespoons of water together in a bowl until smooth. This is called a corn flour slurry. Keep the heat on while you stir this through the chicken. Sauce should start thickening straight away. Remove from heat.
TIP 2: This is my favourite way to toasting pita bread. Place a frypan – that’s big enough to hold one pita bread without bending or folding – on medium heat. Spray Canola oil on one side of the pita and place that side down into the frypan. Check every 30 seconds to 1 minute to see if bread has started to turn golden. Spray the other side of the bread and turn over. Once both sides of the pita are golden, remove and set aside on a plate, until all pita bread has been toasted.
TIP 3: Japanese chilli paste can be found in any Asian grocer.
SERVES: 4 – 6 people
1 brown onion, finely diced
5 (520 grams) skinless free range chicken thighs
2 tablespoons Japanese chilli paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pepper to taste
¼ cup water
OPTIONAL – 1 tablespoon corn flour
2 pita breads per person, toasted
Cos lettuce, shredded
Spring (green) onions, sliced Asian style (on diagonal)
Sour cream, optional (not pictured)
In a saucepan that fits the chicken thighs firmly, add the chicken thighs, onion and chilli sauce. Place on a medium heat and cook until the chicken starts turning white (no longer seeing pink).
Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the corn flour and stir to combine well. Turn heat down, place the lid on the saucepan and allow to simmer, on lowest heat, for 50 minutes. No stirring required.
Turn heat off and stir. You should notice the sauce has thickened perfectly, still coating the chicken. Allow to cool before pulling the chicken apart.
Once cooled, use two forks or your hands (this is the best part, I love getting my hands dirty!) and gently pull the chicken into shreds. Place chicken back into the saucepan with the sauce and heat for 5 minutes until warmed through.
Serve immediately with ‘serving’ ingredients, however you like to create your tacos.
How we construct our tacos – chicken, kimchi, radish, sou cream, spring onions. My husband added fresh chopped chillies and freshly ground black pepper to his tacos – enjoy!
What do you think of my new recipe layout? Trying a couple of new things over the next month or two, love to hear your thoughts or advice x