About this recipe:Five-spice powder – a fragrant mix of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns – is used a great deal in Chinese cooking, and here it adds an oriental flavour to appetising, pitta pocket sandwiches.
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp clear honey
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 140g each
4 large wholemeal pitta breads
3 cos lettuce leaves, shredded
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
Lemon & herb yoghurt dressing
150g low-fat natural yoghurt
grated zest of ½ lemon and ½ tbsp juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
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Method Prep:40min › Cook:20min › Ready in:1hr
Put the lemon juice, honey and five-spice powder in a shallow dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts in a single layer, and mix together until well blended. Make 3 deep slashes in each chicken breast, then put into the dish. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, and well into the slashes. Cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the dressing, blend together the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and the parsley and season to taste. Cover and chill until required.
When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken breasts from the fridge to bring them back to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium and line the grill pan with foil. Set the shelf on the lower runner position. Put the chicken breasts on the rack in the grill pan. Grill for 15–20 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade left in the dish and turning half-way through the cooking time. When thoroughly cooked, thinly slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal and set aside to cool.
Sprinkle the pitta breads with a little water and warm under the grill for 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots with the dressing.
Slice open one side of each pitta bread to make a pocket. Divide the chicken and salad among the pittas and serve immediately.
Grilled chicken breasts also make a filling, more conventional sandwich. Lightly toast 2 slices of multigrain bread for each sandwich. Cover 1 slice of toast with mixed leaves and sliced cucumber tossed with the lemon and herb dressing. Add the chicken slices, then top with second slice of toast.