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
4 - 6
packed light brown sugar
brewed double-strength coffee
finely minced garlic
bay leaves, halved
ground black pepper
all the rest
chicken breast, trimmed, pounded to 1/2" thickness, and sliced into 1/2" strips.
large green pepper, sliced into 1/4" strips
large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4" rings
ground black pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons
flat bread or pita
white american cheese (from the deli counter). You could also substitute with cheez-whiz
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!