Monday, you come too fast.
At least I am bringing a little excitement, pleasure and color (aren’t they kind of Christmassy?) to the table. You know, a little kick-start to the week. These are not just any wraps either, these are some of the best I have ever made. They are kind of like the middle eastern gyro but with a twist. Please listen when I say, YOU HAVE TO make these.
They are so stinkin’ good.
And when I say we, I do mean we. Don’t lie, you know you are currently either eating or craving a cookie. And if you are not you probably just had one.
I love Christmas treats and Christmas anything. I am a total cheese ball this time of year (oh, and these real cheese balls? I want one of these too now!) To be honest, I am sort of jumping out of my skin about the sweets I have been coming up with and also about what I did with this bread. I am rather excited to share. Lots of good, sweet things to come. But for now… wraps.
Obviously, I am having a hard time focusing. Blame it on Monday and all the craziness around here. It is so hard to focus with the constant distractions of people everywhere. I swear sometimes I think my parents are running a wayward home for boys. No is just not in their vocabulary!
But really, aren’t the colors of the wraps amazing?
I love them. The colors and the flavor! The flavor is amazing, these wraps were one of those dinners that got the “Tieg, I think this is my new favorite”. I love when this happens. I have to say, it kind of makes my day and reminds me why I love cooking and makes the hair pulling and occasional cupcake explosions all over the oven totally worth it.
The dishes though?
I am still undecided on that one.
Let’s just talk a little about what’s in these wraps.
Everything starts with some good Naan bread. I highly recommend using this easy recipe. I make it all the time, really I do. It is quick, easy and fuss free, but also probably the very BEST Naan you will ever have. It is so good (breakfast, lunch or dinner). You can also use pita bread, but I really think the Naan is the way to go for these wraps.
So once you have your bread all taken care of you’re gonna want to spread (and be generous!) on some tahini sauce.
Tahini is just sesame seed paste (think like peanut butter, but with sesame seeds) and can be found in the ethic food aisle of most grocery stores, but you can also order it on Amazon (gotta love Amazon). Don’t worry, this is the only somewhat odd ingredient in these wraps, but trust me you want to get this. It makes the wraps and is an incredible sauce.
Next you have to add the couscous, which may be my favorite part.
They are mixed with sun-dried tomatoes (my favorite!), spinach, some other good stuff, some pistachios (my other favorite!!), some olives and some pomegranate arils (my obsession!). The chicken is marinated in greek yogurt along with some other spices, but it’s the cinnamon that it the real secret. People can’t tell it is cinnamon, but it is what makes the chicken.
Ok, now you have to top it all off with the good stuff!
Goat cheese (lots and lots and lots of goat cheese!), some more pistachios, a little cilantro and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, because I honestly can not get enough of them (as you will see later this week).
And this is when I like to say, “take that Monday”!
Middle Eastern Chicken and Couscous Wraps with Goat Cheese
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken sliced into strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt I like to use Chobani 0%
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced or grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dry couscous
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- 1/2 - 1 cup spinach chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and sliced, reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the oil
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1/3 cup roasted shelled pistachios chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped (may sub parsley)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils here is [how to deseed a pomegranate | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/deseed-pomegranate-pictures/
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup tahini sesame paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 2 tablespoon greek yogurt
- 1 lemon juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-8 pieces of [naan | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/] or [pita bread | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/traditional-greek-pita-bread/] for serving
To marinate the chicken. In a medium bowl or gallon size ziplock bag combine the olive oil, greek, yogurt, ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin, crushed red pepper, cayenne and cinnamon. Add the chicken and toss well. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
In the meantime, to make the couscous. Bring the water (or broth) to a boil. Stir in the couscous cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. After five minutes fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the spinach, honey, olives, sun-dried tomatoes + oil, pistachios, cilantro salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the Tahini sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the tahini (if the tahini is too thick to stir microwave it for 20-30 seconds), olive oil, garlic, greek yogurt, lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside until ready to use. Just before serving stir in the pomegranate arils.
After 30 minutes heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off just a little of the excess. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir fry for 4-6 minutes or until cooked through.
To assemble the wraps, spread a little of the tahini sauce down the center of the warmed naan. Add the couscous and chicken and then top with crumbled goat cheese. If desired garnish with chopped cilantro, more pistachios and pomegranate arils. Wrap and eat!
But now I either need more pomegranate arils or cookies. It’s Monday, so I am going to go with both….you know, for balance.