Chicken Tikka Sandwiches
I’m generally not a fan of the chicken sandwich because they are so often done badly.
It’s just hard to get right because chicken dries out if it’s overcooked. Also, unless it’s seasoned well or fried, it can be a bit on the bland side.
Both of these problems are fixable!
For starters, I like to use chicken thighs instead of breasts. Thighs are a bit easier to keep moist because they have a slightly higher fat content.
To combat the bland issue, I mixed up a spicy tikka blend that will knock your socks off.
The other good news is that you can grill these so there’s no need to heat up the house with the oven.
Chicken Tikka Sandwiches
Yield: 6 sandwiches
6-8 chicken thighs, about 2-3 pounds (could also use breasts)
3 large pitas
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
1 lime, juice only
2 cups Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
1) For marinade, toast coriander and cumin in a dry skillet until fragrant over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Grind spices.
2) Stir all seasonings together with minced garlic and ginger. Stir in greek yogurt.
3) Marinade chicken in spice mixture for at least thirty minutes, but longer is fine. You could do them the day in advance if you wanted.
4) Remove chicken from marinade and shake off any excess marinade.
5) Grill chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your breasts or thighs.
6) Remove chicken from grill and slice into 1/2 inch pieces.
7) For mint sauce, stir together ingredients in a bowl and season with salt. Store in fridge.
8) To make a sandwich, cut a pita in half and microwave it for 10 seconds so it is easier to open.
9) Add some yogurt sauce to the pita, then pack in a few strips of chicken followed by lettuce and diced tomatoes. Top with fresh mint and serve immediately!
The Spice Blend
This is a really delicious marinade, but it does help to have a spice grinder so you can use whole coriander and cumin seeds.
If you can, toast these spices a bit before you mix them up. Just add them to a dry pan over medium heat and toast them until they are fragrant, about three minutes.
Once you toast and grind your spices you can add them to a bowl with the other spices.
The turmeric and garam masala add some awesome color and flavor to the mix.
Also, it’s hard to add too much garlic and ginger to this marinade so go crazy with it.
Stir in the Greek yogurt and lime juice and then add your chicken to the marinade.
Even thirty minutes in this marinade will give your chicken some good flavor, but if you can make it a few hours in advance, that would be best.
Cooking the Chicken
You need to grill this stuff. There’s no two ways about it.
On the grill, the marinade caramelizes a bit and forms a nice crust on the chicken. Don’t cook it on the highest heat or you might actually burn the marinade. A nice medium-high heat works great.
I had this fancy skewer system with my chicken thighs, but it was more work then it was worth. Just throw the chicken on the grill and cook it for about 8-10 minutes per side until it’s cooked through.
Once the chicken is off the grill, it should still have lots of great color and it will smell amazing.
Then just dice it up into 1/2 inch chunks and it’s ready for a sandwich!
Making a Sandwich
A lot of fresh veggies help give this sandwich some nice light flavors to go with the spicy flavors on the chicken.
I just used lots of lettuce and tomato, but you could also toss in some red onion, sprouts, or shredded carrots.
Cut your pitas in half and then microwave them for about ten seconds. That will make them really easy to open up so you can stuff them with goodies.
I like to start my sandwiches by slathering on some of the mint sauce I made which is just a mixture of greek yogurt, fresh mint, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Then just pack in a few pieces of chicken, the fresh veggies, and toss on some more fresh mint for good measure.
These are pretty hard to beat!
At first glance, you might think I served these with ketchup, but if you know me at all, you’ll know that’s a big old dish of Sriracha in the back.
That’s just how I roll.