I had no idea what a hit these pita rolls would be. They seemed so easy to make and with such a familiar taste to them, I didn’t even think they would be very interesting to other people. When I instagrammed making these several months ago, so many people were intrigued and wanted the recipe. I totally understand why now- they’re so so easy to make and don’t take too many ingredients to put them together. For people who don’t like tabbouleh or hummus (if they exist), you don’t even really have to put them in the rolls, but they definitely taste better with the two, in my opinion.
Here’s how it goes:
Start with the best quality ingredients you can find, as with all recipes.
The same goes for olive oil and vinegar (i.e. date vinegar or apple cider vinegar). Don’t skimp on the good stuff if you can afford it. There truly is no replacement for real olive oil and the flavor you get with a dark vinegar like date vinegar is unique so if you choose to de-glaze this dish with another type of vinegar (i.e white), it will vary a bit.
You may have questions on the vinegar issue as it relates to halal, I know. So, please visit the vinegar page for what I understand and go by with regards to how I select it. I know
Get a good quality tabbouleh or make it yourself, of course! Here’s a link to my Tabbouleh recipe if you decide to spend a lot of time chopping. It’s quite therapeutic, really.
The perfect cut for these pita rolls are Crescent’s new boneless skinless breast cubes. How much easier could it be?
If you absolutely can’t find the boneless cubes, you can also just get their boneless skinless breast tenders and cut them up, which takes all about 2 minutes for a pound of meat.
Start with a large saute pan and add salt if you’re using a non-stick or a non-cast iron pan. This helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan during cooking, which often happens with skinless meats. Add just enough for the recipe to avoid over-salting.
Add the oil to pan now gently heat.
When the oil is hot (not burning), add the chicken, freshly ground pepper and any additional salt you think. Cook over medium high heat.
Let the chicken brown on one side then flip.
Now add the vinegar.
All at once. It will start to steam and evaporate just as soon as it hits the pan. Stay right in front of the pan to deglaze the oil and any scraps at the bottom of the pan with your spoon or spatula.
It should look this beautiful by then, the deep dark color is due to the vinegar. Don’t worry if there’s a little oil left in the pan. That’s actually good because if you’re not eating this right away, you can store the chicken with this oil and re-heat in it so that it doesn’t dry out.
It’ll also give it a bit of a nice sheen.
This is not a greasy sandwich, but that extra oil is kind of nice if you want to add in the pita roll. We love it like that.
Those bite-size pieces are just wonderful, but you can always cut larger pieces if you prefer.
Here’s a video where I show how the same technique is done, although these chicken pieces are uncut (using boneless chicken tenders):
Now get out the hummus. This is a pre-made one, I know. That’s what makes it extra quick when you need things to be fast.
Take a heaping spoonful and spread it across the underside of one whole pita bread laid flat on a plate.
Now do one more heaping spoonful. It makes the sandwich more moist.
Next is the tabbouleh. Another ready-made version. I said I needed it done fast. But truth be told, I have at times made one thing homemade and store-bought the other. Whatever works for you.
Spread the tabbouleh on top of the hummus.
Then, add as much chicken as you’ll like per sandwich. I like to divide the final mixture of chicken into fours so that I know I’ll have four evenly-made sandwiches.
Wanna roll? Or eat it open face? Well, you could do either one, really.
Let’s say we roll this time. Take one side of the bread and fold it completely over the ingredients lengthwise.
And, roll again.
Cut them in half, if you like, or just because you want to take photos. Everyone’s doing that these days….
- 3 tablespoons olive oil1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cubes (I used Crescent Foods chicken)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup date vinegar or another type of dark vinegar
- 1 cup tabbouleh
- 1 cup hummus
- 4 pieces large, thin pita bread
- In a large sauté pan, gently heat the oil over low-medium flame then add the salt. Add the chicken and cook for about five minutes over medium heat without turning it. Once browned on the bottom, gently turn each piece.
- Cook for an additional five minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly browned. Next, add the vinegar. Let the vinegar bubble a bit then evaporate slightly. De-glaze the pan with a spatula. Toss the meat around so that every piece is touched by the vinegar.
- Turn off heat and let the chicken rest and cool slightly before preparing the pita rolls. Once cooled, divide it into four equal parts to make the pita rolls.
- *At this point, you can save the cooked chicken to be added to the pita rolls later- just let cool then chill in the refrigerator. If making ahead of time for the next morning’s lunch, proceed to finish making the rolls. As long as they’re tightly wrapped and the tabbouleh is not very juicy, the pita roll should stay nice and firm in the refrigerator for the next day’s lunchbox.*
- To make the pita rolls, place one piece of bread on a plate with the ‘wrong side’ facing upwards. Spread two heaping tablespoons full of hummus down the middle. Next, do the same with the tabbouleh directly on top. Add 1/4 of the divided chicken to one pita directly on top of the tabbouleh.
- Roll one edge of the pita bread completely over the ingredients then fold in with your hands slightly to keep the contents firmly inside. Roll one more time and secure it closed. Cut in half, if desired. Wrap in parchment paper or foil for your lunchbox.