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Spicy Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Pita Sandwiches with Copycat Zankou Chicken Garlic Sauce (Toum)


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Ingredients

For the chicken kebabs:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Harrissa spice blend
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

For the hummus:

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mixed with 1/4 cup warm water

For the Zankou Chicken Garlic Sauce (Toum):

  • 1/2 cup fresh garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)

To assemble sandwiches:

  • 4 pieces of pita bread, whole
  • 4 crisp romaine leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • A few dashes of hot sauce

Instructions

For the chicken kebabs:

  1. In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, oil, ginger, salt, Harrissa, garlic, and black pepper. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 4 to 8 hours.
  2. Thread chicken tightly onto skewers.
  3. Place on rack on baking sheet, and broil until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for five minutes.

For the hummus:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Mix up the tahini, which may have separated. Combine chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor. Blend, slowly pouring in oil and water blend until desired consistency.

For the Zankou Chicken Garlic Sauce (Toum):

  1. Combine garlic and salt in food processor, and pulse until very fine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a very thin, slow stream, pour 1/2 cup of oil into the food processor while it is running. Then, slowly add two teaspoons of lemon juice. Turn off, then scrape down the side of the bowl. Turn the food processor back on, then continue alternating oil and lemon juice in very slow, steady streams and stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl. The mixture will turn fluffy and white.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, then cover with a paper towel and refrigerate for about 12 hours, chilling the sauce completely and removing some of the moisture which would cause the sauce to separate if covered immediately with the airtight lid. Flavor will soften after a few days, and sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

To assemble sandwiches:

  1. Spread each piece of pita with hummus, then top with one leaf of lettuce, a few pieces of chicken, and diced tomato. Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, and serve, spreading garlic sauce on each bite.