BBQ Chicken Packed Pita

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
4 sandwiches
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or a combination of breasts and thighs)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup BBQ rub, recipe follows
  • Oil, for grilling
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce, recipe follows or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag washed baby spinach leaves (or 1 cup frozen, drained and chopped)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 whole-wheat flat breads (such as naan or Mediterranean style pita)
  • 6 ounces shredded Cheddar/ jack cheese blend
  • Smoky BBQ Rub:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (crushed slightly with spice mill)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • BBQ Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup finely minced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ rub
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, optional
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 cups ketchup
Directions

Prepare a hot grill outside or preheat a grill pan to high heat and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss raw chicken in a bowl with rub, a few pieces at a time until all chicken is well coated. Grill chicken on well oiled grill or grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side, until nice grill marks are formed. If chicken pieces are very thick, finish cooking for 5 to 10 minutes more in the preheated oven. Allow chicken to cool a few minutes and then pull apart into nice shreds. Toss chicken with BBQ sauce so that it is well coated but not overly wet. Keep warm in a warm saute pan until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic with wooden spoon. After 30 seconds add spinach and turn off heat. Toss spinach in hot oil, when wilted completely season with salt. Set aside.

Spread butter evenly over 1 side of each pita. In a large saute pan, grill each flatbread over medium-high heat, buttered side down (work in batches if necessary) top each flatbread with 1 1/2 ounces of cheese, 1/4 of the spinach, and 1/4 of the chicken. Fold each flatbread over and continue grilling until golden brown on each side. Cut in half crosswise, transfer to platter and serve.

Smoky BBQ Rub:

Combine all ingredients, using a whisk, wooden spoon or hands. Use hands to break up lumps of brown sugar.

BBQ Sauce:

Heat oil n a 1-gallon saucepan over medium heat, sweat onions until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and sweat 1 more minute. Add dry spices and BBQ rub; stir. Cook until spices become fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add remaining ingredients and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth.

Home Cook Recipe: A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchen have not tested this recipe and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.


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