This chicken and bacon pita was kind of a throw away recipe; it’s a recipe that I cobbled together with random ingredients I had on hand. I made the prototype on a flour tortilla. But I love this so much that I had to share it here. It’s something I know I’m going to crave often now.
What I like most about this recipe is that the boneless, skinless chicken breast is actually…delicious. It’s covered in a lemon-y, herb-y salt rub before it’s pan fried in a bit of leftover bacon fat. This is not a boring piece of chicken. And it’s paired with great ingredients including a creamy, tangy feta dressing to elevate it further.
My secret to juicy chicken breast is to cut it in half, lengthwise, to make a much thinner cutlet. This creates more surface area for the herb rub which equals more flavor. And more importantly, this allows the chicken to cook super fast so that the edges don’t get dried out while waiting for the middle to reach peak temps. It means juicy, not dry, chicken breast.
This recipe feels like a great chicken salad wrapped in a pita because of all of the crispy spinach and that feta dressing. You could easily ditch the pita and serve it in a bowl if you don’t have pita bread or are gluten-free. Either way, I suspect this recipe will become a menu stand-by.
Chicken & Bacon Pita with Spinach, Tomatoes, & Feta Dressing
Lemon Herb Rub
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- zest of one lemon
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halved lengthwise
- 4 slices bacon
- 24 grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 3 oz spinach washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 large Syrian-style pitas the kind with a pocket
- 2 large cloves garlic grated on a microplane or minced finely
- juice of one lemon
- 1½ tsp honey
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 oz sheep's milk feta cheese in a block
- 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 4 tbsp hummus your fave
- In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and lemon zest. But together with your fingers until well combined.
- Before you do any other prep, season your chicken breasts evenly with the herb rub on all sides. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet, place your bacon in the cold pan and then turn the heat to medium. Cook the bacon to your desired texture (might I suggest crispy, though.) Remove from the pan and set on a paper towel to drain.Once cool, cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Remove all but about 1 tbsp of bacon fat from the pan. If there are any extra brown bits from the bacon, scrape those out as well. Put the pan over medium heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes soften slightly. Remove from the pan into a small bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until the chicken reaches 165F degrees. Remove from the pan to a cutting board.Cut into bite-sized chunks.
- In a small food processor or blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, honey, and 2 ½ oz of feta. Process into a smooth sauce. Remove into a small bowl. Crumble the remaining ½ oz of feta into the dressing and stir in the parsley.
- So, I told you to get a pocket-style pita, but I actually like to serve this taco-style because I am too impatient to cut the pita without making a hole. (It happens every time.) But I do like the texture of the Syrian-style pita here. If using, spread 1 tbsp of hummus on each pita (this is a good option to take if you have hummus.) Pile on spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and chicken. Drizzle with plenty of feta dressing. Fold. Eat.
- This is a great recipe for leftovers. The sandwich is great warm or cold so stash leftovers in the fridge separately to build more sandwiches later.
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