Author Notes: As a kid, we used to go to the fair and one thing my family always made sure to hunt down was the chicken in a pita stand; most times, it was the only reason why we went. We tried for quite a few years to find this recipe in any book we could find (this was before the internet), and my mom finally ended up adapting her own version from a couple recipes she had found. Fast forward some years later and some tweaks of my own, and it's still a family favorite. - MHardison79
Serves 4 - 6
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup brewed double-strength coffee
- 3/4 cups ketchup
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
- 2 bay leaves, halved
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
all the rest
- 1 pound chicken breast, trimmed, pounded to 1/2" thickness, and sliced into 1/2" strips.
- 1 large green pepper, sliced into 1/4" strips
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4" rings
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 - 2 teaspoon sugar
- flat bread or pita
- 1/2 pound white american cheese (from the deli counter). You could also substitute with cheez-whiz
- 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- For the marinade/sauce: In a medium saucepan, whisk all ingredients, except oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occassionally. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in oil. Add more cayenne, to taste. Discard bay leaves.
- For the cheese sauce: cube the cheese and add to a small sauce pan with half the jalapeno and a splash of milk. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring often. Add more milk to achieve a creamy cheese sauce. Add white pepper and more jalapeno to taste. (This can be made ahead of time and re-heated when ready to use. Also, this is a great at home version of the cheese dip you order at mexican restaurants)
- Toss chicken with 1/4 cup of the marinade sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce. While chicken is marinating, place green pepper and onion in a ziploc bag with salt, pepper, and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Bake chicken in a 9x13 dish at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking time, adding more sauce if necessary. During the last 3 - 5 minutes, put the flat bread or pita, wrapped in foil, in the oven, to warm through.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until tender and begin to brown.
- Top each flat bread, or fill each pita pocket, with chicken, onions and peppers, more sauce, if desired, and finally the cheese sauce. Wrap in foil and enjoy!