Greek chicken pita pockets make for an easy summertime DIY dish

Dinner couldn’t be simpler than this do-it-yourself array of food.

It’s a fun, interactive way to enjoy a fresh and simple meal: Arrange all the components on a platter and let everyone assemble their own dish.

A zesty marinade and creamy tzatziki do the heavy lifting in this recipe, infusing the chicken with juicy flavor, lemony citrus and a kick of spice. Cutting the chicken in chunks and threading them on skewers provides more surface area for the meat to soak in the marinade and creates lots of little edges to crisp while grilling.

Tzatziki is a garlicky Greek yogurt-and-cucumber sauce that provides a slick of creaminess to the chicken and pita.

While you can stuff the ingredients into pita pockets, you can also eat them deconstructed. Simply assemble everything on a bed of crisp greens and call it a salad for dinner.

If you have a grill, use it to cook the chicken and warm the pita. It’s nearly summer, so now is the time to move the living outdoors.

Greek Chicken Pita Pockets

Yield: Serves 4

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2-inch pieces
Butter lettuce leaves
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
Pita bread, grilled or warmed


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 1/4 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber, seeded, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill fronds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

2. Combine the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until use.

3. If using bamboo skewers, pre-soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread on metal or bamboo skewers. Discard any remaining marinade.

5. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the skewers over direct heat until the chicken is cooked through the center and well-marked, turning once or twice, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes. If using an oven, heat to 425 degrees. Arrange the skewers on a rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden brown in spots and cooked through the centers, turning once, about 25 minutes.

6. Slide the chicken off the skewers onto a serving platter. Serve the chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, mint leaves, pita bread and the tzatziki sauce.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author and recipe developer, and authors the blog TasteFood, More recipes can be found at

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