Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm Calling it a Gyro


Ever since I learned how to make pita bread recently, I'm kind of obsessed with it.  It's like a miracle bread that STAYS SOFT for more than just the day you make it.  I've made it more than a couple of times.  I have taken the leftover pitas to work, and the girls heat them up and eat them with butter. So good!  

Anyway, my son asks for fried chicken strips at least once a week.  I usually tell him no, but he got me on a good day.  I wanted to make a wrap with his favorite chicken.  So I looked around for some ideas, and I came up with these Baja Chicken Wraps.  I will tell you up front that there are a lot of parts to this wrap, but each part contributes a flavor punch that will make you want to slap your grandma.  Well, don't do that.  If you plan ahead, the Pico de Gallo and the Avocado Jalapeno Ranch can be made the day before.  The pitas can be made a day or two in advance.  I've also given you some shortcuts under the ingredients that will still make a successful wrap.

When my daughter came home and asked what's for dinner, I told her.  She said, "what's that?"  When I said it's chicken, bacon, etc., in a pita, she said, "oh, so it's a gyro."  I said, no, not really, just a wrap in pita bread.  She said, "I'm calling it a gyro!"  We had a good laugh, and then we had a good dinner.  Enjoy!

BAJA CHICKEN WRAPS
FOR THE PITAS:
1 1/4 C warm water, about 110 to 115 degrees
1 packet highly active yeast
2 1/2 to 3 C flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 T olive oil

FOR THE AVOCADO JALAPENO RANCH:
1 C mayo
1/2 C buttermilk
1 C sour cream
1 packet Ranch dip mix
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1-3 T diced jalapeno slices (from a jar)
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 avocados

FOR THE PICO DE GALLO:
About 2 C chopped Roma tomatoes
1-2 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers, chopped (leave in the seeds if you like it hot)
1/2 C finely chopped red onion
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
Salt & pepper, to taste

FOR THE CHICKEN:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into long strips
1 packet chipotle marinade
1/4 C olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 C water

FOR THE CHICKEN DREDGE:
3 C flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T paprika
1 T onion powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
Seasoned salt, to taste (like Lawry's)
1 quart buttermilk (you won't need it all, just enough to coat the chicken)
Peanut oil, for frying

FOR THE WRAP:
1/2 lb peppered bacon, cut in half, cooked & drained
1 C shredded Cheddar cheese
1 avocado, thin sliced
1 C shredded purple cabbage

NOTES:  This recipe has a lot of parts, so let me give you some shortcuts if you don't want to do all of the parts.  Use store-bought pocketless pita bread if you don't want to make homemade.  You can use jar salsa if you don't want to make the Pico de Gallo.  You can skip the chicken marinade and just use the dredge and fry the chicken, and it will still be very good.  You can use store-bought ranch if you like.  Just throw it in the blender with an avocado and some jalapeno slices and blend.  This wrap can be very easy and still quite tasty with these shortcuts.

For the pitas, put the yeast, warm water and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let it sit about five minutes to get frothy.  Add in the remaining ingredients and knead with the dough hook until it forms a ball, adding in the extra 1/2 C of flour if the dough is sticky.  Put the dough into a large greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about an hour. 

Meanwhile, for the Pico de Gallo, mix all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. 

For the Avocado Jalapeno Ranch, mix all of the ingredients together in a blender.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

For the chicken, put the chicken strips and all of the marinade ingredients together in a large zipper bag. Marinade at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

When the dough has risen, divide the dough into 8 equal balls.  Roll each ball out to about an 8-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick.  Preheat a cast iron skillet (or other skillet) to medium high heat.  Cook them about 30 seconds on one side until they begin to puff up a lot.  Flip them over and cook another 30-45 seconds on the other side or until you get browned spots.  Flip them back over and cook about 30 more seconds to brown the first side.  Stack them in a tortilla warmer or in a covered dish to keep warm.

Mix all of the dredge ingredients together except the peanut oil and the buttermilk.  Put some buttermilk into a bowl. Preheat the peanut oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Dip the chicken first in the buttermilk and then into the dredge mixture.  Fry in batches until the chicken is golden brown and done through.  Keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until all of the chicken strips are fried.

Assemble the wrap by placing some chicken strips down the center of a pita and garnish with the bacon, cabbage, avocado slices, shredded cheese, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado Jalapeno Ranch.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! That's a lot of steps for a sandwich. But it sure looks worth the trouble. Sounds awesome.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

    ReplyDelete