Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Chicken and Arugula Pita Pockets

(For the premise of my "What's for Dinner Wednesday" series, you can read my first post here. The long and short of it is that I've been collecting recipes that are interesting enough for an adult palate that also have components that are simple enough to dish out to the kiddos. "Component Cooking"? Still working out a name for this, ha!)

I love the Weeknights with Giada cookbook and have tried a lot of her recipes. Most really are simple enough for a good weeknight meal but they definitely pack a flavor punch.

One of the reasons I love making this for dinner is because the pesto recipe makes enough for two meals and it can be frozen. So the next time you go to make this recipe its like you've already made dinner...for yourself…how nice of you!

Chicken and Arugula Pita Pockets

2 whole-wheat pitas, halved and opened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup Arugula Pesto, (recipe follows)
2 store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
 (Or baked tenders)
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup arugula
2 cups packed arugula
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Arrange the pita halves on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until warmed through.

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest and Arugula Pesto (1/2 cup). Stir in the diced chicken. (If you are making a kid version (see below) set aside some diced chicken.)

To assemble the pita pockets, fill each pita half with the chicken mixture. Top with tomatoes and 1/4 cup arugula and serve.

Arugula Pesto (makes 1 cup)

For the pesto, blend the arugula and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil until well blended. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in Parmesan and salt and pepper.

Kid Version:

So I don't know about your kids but arugula pesto does not go over very well with mine! For their version, I will throw some cooked (but previously frozen) peas into my food processor and add in some mayo to make a spread for the inside of their pita. I probably use about a cup of peas and a tablespoon of mayo. I will spread this on the inside of the pita, stuff with chicken, a little parmesan cheese and, in Cooper's case, a little lettuce. If they won't go for the pea spread, a little mayo will do the trick and you can serve your veggie of choice on the side!

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