Healthier Alternative: Yogurt Chicken Salad in Pita

I am still not a huge fan of chicken but I do enjoy poached chicken. I like the texture of the plump and bouncy meat only pouching can bring. I usually keep the stock and use it for other dishes, like nabe, a Japanese hot pot, or a soup for Chicken and Dumplings for the extra layer of flavor. My new favorite dish using the shredded boiled chicken is a simple chicken salad that I use as a base for pasta salad or a pita sandwich, shown here. Instead of mayonnaise, I use plain yogurt that I make at home, so this recipe is a healthier alternative to a higher calorie / fat cousin. If you don’t make homemade yogurt, a regular plain kind will definitely do the job, as long as you don’t get the sweetened ones … that would be pretty yucky!

Yogurt Chicken Salad in Pita Bread (serves 4)

4 whole wheat pita
16 oz. Chicken breast, poached and shredded
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch green onion (chopped)
6 tablespoons plain yogurt (more, if you like the dressing drenched, like me) 🙂
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoon rice vinegar (more if you like it tangier)
1 teaspoon ketchup
Parsley, handful, chopped
Salt and pepper
Arugula, handful

Boil the chicken in hot water until fully cooked (I don’t season mine or add vegetable because I like to use the reserve for other dishes and don’t want an overwhelming flavor. However, a small handful of peppercorn can add a real nice flavor to the chicken).

While the chicken is cooking, put sliced / chopped the green onion, regular onion, and parsley in a bowl. In the same bowl, add the dressing by combining yogurt, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, ketchup, and salt and pepper, and mix well.

Take the chicken out of the hot water, pad the meat dry with paper towel, and shred the meat into small pieces using two forks. While the chicken is still warm, add it to the bowl with the vegetable and the dressing and mix well. It is probably best to let it sit for about an hour for all the flavors to come together but you can certainly enjoy it immediately.

Put the chicken salad in the pita bread that is cut in half. Add some arugula for extra flavor and crunch. Enjoy by putting a few drops of Tabasco if you like some heat!

For Pasta Salad: Add 2 cups of cooked pasta (short pastas like Rigatoni or Farfalle work best) to the chicken salad. Add more dressing, if needed.