How glorious does a picnic sound right now? Like a lazy, warm, afternoon picnic in a park, with a summery wine and a fresh, bright tasting sandwich, a few good friends or just a good book. SIGH. I’m so over winter right now.
These chicken salad pita sandwiches are inspired by a sandwich I like at a spot near my office. Shredded roasted chicken is tossed in a tangy, lemony dressing, with briny capers, lots of fresh dill, and crunchy, salty pancetta, then rolled up in pita pocket with tangy Havarti and crispy peppery greens. This sandwich feels like sun and spring, even if your picnic is actually inside, in front of the fireplace.
Chicken Salad Pita Sandwiches with Lemon, Dill, & Pancetta
Makes 2 big sandwiches, 4 halves
8 thin slices of pancetta (you can usually get
at the deli counter—if you can’t find it, then
use 4 slices of regular bacon)
5 oz crème fraiche (approx. ½ cup plus
two tablespoons—the kind I buy comes
in a 5oz cup)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Juice from 1/2 lemon (approx. 1
Heaping tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, plus splash of
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
2 cups shredded, roasted chicken
(already cooked, I used a store bought
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2-4 slices Havarti cheese
Handful of fresh greens (I prefer the
peppery bite of arugula/spinach mix)
2 pita pockets
First, cook pancetta in a skillet over medium heat, similar to how you cook bacon, until it’s crispy. Drain on a paper towel, set aside, and crumble once cool.
In the bottom of a medium-large bowl, whisk together crème fraiche, mayo, lemon juice, and dill. Stir in capers (with splash of juice) and onions. Add pancetta crumbles and chicken, and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste (as well as more lemon or dill, as you wish).
Heat each pita pocket about 10-15 seconds in the microwave, until it’s pliable. I like to make pita pocket wraps… to do that, you slice open the top seam of the pita, fill it, and roll it into itself. You can learn how on the internet. You can also just cut in half and stuff each half.
First, put in 1-2 slices of havarti, depending on how much cheese you like, then a couple scoops of the chicken salad, a pile of the greens, and roll it up. Cut in half to serve.