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Pita sandwiches stuffed with NYC street cart-style chicken

Halal Chicken on a Pita AKA Rafakey 2.0

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  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Dino Covelli (adapted from Eric Rhee and Michelle Won)
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Halal


A revamped version of my husband's favorite NYC street cart food. Tender, flavorful Middle Eastern chicken paired with two fantastic sauces and served up in a fluffy pita.



White Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice (½ lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp dill (dry or fresh)

Red Sauce:


  1. Combine all the spices, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive. Generously salt and pepper. Work in the Greek yogurt. Add the cubed chicken thighs and onions and let it marinate overnight.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot skillet, preferably cast iron. Add the chicken.
  3. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and cooked through. Place pitas on top to soften.
  4. Once the pitas are warm, place a pita in a large square of tin foil and add the chicken. Top with lettuce and tomato and sauces.


Based on: Chicken and Rice NYC Street Meat Style by Eric Rhee and Michelle Won

Rafiqi’s Delicious Food carts are numerous and abundant in NYC. The delicious odor of garlic and Middle-Eastern herbs permeated my afternoon commute one day back in 2004 and I’ve been a Rafiqi’s addict ever since.

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