Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Patty Pockets with Cucumber Sauce

As a well-deserved gift to myself upon graduation from college, I took a trip to Greece prior to starting my new job. Greece is just incredible and beautiful. And the food? Not bad either! Lots of fresh ingredients and yummy things like yogurt, feta cheese, olives and seafood. But the food that was the most tempting? Gyros!

Gyro shops would roast these huge hunks of meat right at the front of their shops, so the smell would just draw you (and all the other tourists!) right inside. Hard to resist!

Roasting huge hunks of meat on a rotating spit isn't the easiest thing to do at home, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I just had to make them. The meat is broiled. So much easier!

These awesome little pocket sandwiches usually come topped with a cucumber yogurt sauce called tzatziki. I was able to adapt a recipe to create a dairy-free version of it. Of course, you could probably just skip the sauce all together, but I definitely recommend making it!

Emeril’s Chicken-Patty Pockets
Source: Adapted from Everyday Food

1 lb. ground dark-meat chicken
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup MSPI-friendly plain dried breadcrumbs, such as panko
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. coarse salt
¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. olive oil
MSPI-friendly pita pockets, for serving
Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers, for serving

If using the Cucumber Sauce (recipe below) prepare it first. 

Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. In a large bowl, combine chicken, egg, panko breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, garlic, salt and spices and mix until well blended. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Divide chicken mixture into 8 portions (about 2 1/2 to 3 ounces each) and place on sheet. Shape each into an oval patty and use your hand to flatten slightly. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over patties.

Broil until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes more. Serve in pita pockets, with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and Cucumber Sauce, if desired.

Cucumber Sauce
Source: Adapted from

1 large cucumber, seeded and grated (see tip)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. dried dill
¼ tsp. sugar
black pepper, to taste

Put the cucumber into a colander. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow extra juices to escape the cucumber. Gently squeeze the cucumber in a paper or cloth towel.

Mix cucumber with remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours prior to using (if you have time) or serve immediately.

A turn or two in the food processor or blender will yield a smoother sauce but isn’t necessary.

Tip: If you prefer your sauce to be whiter in color instead of greenish, then peel the cucumber before grating it. Also, if you are using an English cucumber, you can skip the seeding.


Dan and Katie Mourlam said...

I made these tonight and they were awesome!! Thanks for the great recipe!

Unknown said...

I've made this a couple of times and it is delicious!
The cucumber sauce I prefer with Miracle Whip rather than mayo since it gives it a little zip that you lose with not using yogurt. I double the recipe and use what's left as a dip for pitas/flatbread/crackers. Love love love it! Thank you!