Like all of my best lunches, this was a reincarnation of last night’s dinner, wrapped up as something easy to eat while (gasp!) sitting at a desk. Alternatively, the pita can be replaced with a bed of spinach.
I love yogurt marinades; they have a way of keeping the meat so moist and tasty. Often I debone and grill enough chicken thighs for a few meals; without the bones they are easy to chop up and put in salads or sandwiches. The harrisa I use is heavy on the spice and very briny from lots of lemon preserves. You may need to adjust the spice and salt to your liking, depending on your harrisa. Make everything the night before and stuff it in the pita in the morning… just a few hours later you will be enjoying a spicy, fresh, creamy, healthy lunch. Just be sure to peel away the foil as you eat, rather than unwrapping the whole thing at once, or else it may end up in your lap!
Note: Harissa is condiment used in North African and Middle-Eastern cuisine. There are many great recipes for harissa on the Food52 site, or buy it at the Food52 shop, middle-eastern markets and William-Sonoma.
Wisk together yogurt and harissa and put in a zip lock with the chicken thighs. Turn the bag to coat the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill with oil. Remove chicken from the marinade and grill skin-side down for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until skin is crispy. Flip and cook 4 to 6 minutes more until they are cooked through. Remove from grill and allow to rest.
With a peeler, remove the skin of the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon remove the seeds (I find leaving them in, makes the salad too watery.) Cut the cucumber again lengthwise, then thinly slice into quarter moons. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion and cilantro in a bowl.
Wisk yogurt, harrisa and garlic and pour over the vegetables. Mix well. Taste and season with salt.
Cut chicken into cubes and combine with the vegetables. Mix everything together. This can be done the day before.
Evenly divide the salad into two pitas. Wrap the pitas with tin foil and it is off to work we go!
My love for all things delicious lead me to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and three years of working in restaurants and wineries in Napa Valley. My love of travel has propelled me all over the world. After living in Honduras and Mexico for the past 5 yrs., my two children, super-hero husband, and I have just moved to the Midwest....... A new chapter is unfolding....