Past Recipes
Harissa Chicken Pitas

Harissa Chicken Pitas with Sesame Carrots, Quick Pickles, and Cilantro-Tahini Sauce

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Chef Liz loves choosing from the many Middle Eastern sandwich options at her local kebab joint, but she also loves making them at home. In this version, she rubs chicken breasts with spicy North African harissa paste, then roasts and shreds the chicken. It's stuffed into warm pita pockets with quick-pickled cucumber and a smooth, tangy cilantro-tahini sauce.

    Serving size
    Prep & cook time
    Cooking Skill
    • Calories 810
    • Protein 52g
    • Total Carb 66g
    • Total Fat 37g

    Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • baby spinach
      • 1 ounce
      • baby spinach
    • carrots
      • 6 ounces
      • carrots
    • English cucumber
      • 1/2
      • English cucumber
    • white vinegar
      • 2 tablespoons
      • white vinegar
    • cilantro
      • 1/8 ounce
      • cilantro
    • harissa
      • 1 packet
      • harissa
    • pita breads
      • 2
      • pita breads
    • boneless skinless chicken breasts
      • 2
      • boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • ground cumin
      • 1/4 teaspoon
      • ground cumin
    • sesame seeds
      • 2 teaspoons
      • sesame seeds
    • tahini
      • 2 tablespoons
      • tahini

    What You’ll Need

    • olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • aluminum foil
    • 2 baking sheets
    • blender or food processor (optional)

    Cooking Steps

    1. Prepare ingredients

      Prepare ingredients

      Preheat oven to 450ºF. Rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel. Cut carrots crosswise on a diagonal into ½-inch slices. Halve cucumber lengthwise; cut crosswise on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices and place in a medium bowl. Toss with vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt; set aside to pickle. Roughly chop whole cilantro sprigs. In a small bowl, stir together up to half of harissa and 2 teaspoons olive oil for the next step.

    2. Roast chicken and warm pitas

      Roast chicken and warm pitas

      Stack pitas; wrap in foil. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, place on 1 half of a foil-lined baking sheet, and rub all over with harissa oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Roast 6 minutes (move on to Step 3—but don't forget to come back). Then, add foil-wrapped pitas to other half of sheet. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink and pitas are warmed through, 5-6 minutes more. Set chicken aside to rest, 5 minutes.

    3. Roast sesame carrots

      Roast sesame carrots

      While chicken roasts, on a separate baking sheet, toss carrots with cumin, sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer; roast (with chicken) until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes (feel free to move on again, but remember to come back!). Then, add spinach and 2 teaspoons olive oil to baking sheet with carrots; toss to combine and wilt spinach slightly.

    4. Make cilantro-tahini sauce

      Make cilantro-tahini sauce

      While carrots roast, using a slotted spoon, remove quick pickles from pickling liquid and set aside for the next step. Add pickling liquid to a blender or food processor, along with tahini, cilantro, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper; blend until smooth. Alternatively, mince cilantro, then add to bowl with pickling liquid, along with remaining sauce ingredients; whisk to combine.

    5. Assemble pitas

      Assemble pitas

      Once roasted, shred chicken using 2 forks or roughly chop. Carefully open pouch with warmed pitas to allow steam to escape, then slice pitas in half and gently open to create a pocket. Spread a spoonful of cilantro-tahini sauce inside pitas, then fill with shredded harissa chicken and quick pickles.

    6. Plate harissa chicken pitas

      Plate harissa chicken pitas

      Divide spinach and sesame carrots between serving plates. Serve with harissa chicken pitas and any remaining cilantro-tahini sauce alongside for dipping. Dig in!

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