The food doodle accompanying today’s recipe is a bit of a misdirect. Sure, there are technically tomatillos in these Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbreads but they aren’t fresh. Yes, I Susan Keefe, used store bought salsa verde in this recipe. The shame is overwhelming. Please know I would not have committed such a food blog sin if I had been able to get my hands on fresh tomatillos. Sadly, my neighborhood grocery haunts could not accommodate my tomatillo needs and tracking them down would’ve required a special trip, which would’ve required time that I am short on these days. So, I went with bottled salsa verde and while I’m sure freshly made would’ve been better, these flatbreads still managed to knock my socks off. Plus, with the bottled salsa, these flatbreads make for a stellar weeknight meal.
The pita bread recipe from The Joy of Cooking was the first yeasted recipe I ever attempted. Of course, when I took my maiden voyage into the wonderful and infuriating world of bread making, I didn’t have a dough hook. So, when I pulled that fledgling batch of slightly busted pita bread from the oven, I felt like I had moved heaven and earth to bring them into existence. Needless to say, if I had stayed dough-hook-less, I probably would’ve given up on making bread ages ago. Making any kind of bread elbow-grease-style is not for the faint of heart. But, I must say, the process really makes you appreciate the considerable forearm strength of our ancestors.
I bring this hand-kneading nonsense up not just to give props to strong bread-making-mommas of the past, I brought it up to give you a pass. If you are among the numerous capable home cooks who find themselves dough-hook-less, just buy some pita bread and call it a day. You can easily throw some store-bought bread on the grill and enjoy all the joys these Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbreads have to offer. If you have a dough hook but are fresh out of time, make a B-line for the grocery store. There shall be no judgment on this blog. Cutting corners is sometimes a very necessary thing. The way I see it, there’s no benefit to cooking from scratch if it causes you undue stress.
And while we’re cutting corners, let’s cut one more. The chicken that puts the chicken in these Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbreads is a boring, run-of-the-mill grocery store rotisserie chicken. Gasp! Yes, it’s true, I too fall prey to convenience food. But you know what? I don’t think it hurt any. I mean, it said it was free range… Can you tell I feel guilty? So, if you want to make this Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbread with bottled salsa and a rotisserie chicken, not only will you have an impossibly quick weeknight dinner on your hands, you’ll also make me feel a heck of a lot better. Good talk.
So, you may have glanced down and noticed that I have included halloumi. I know. What?! How did a cheese that hails from Cyprus wind up cuddling with Chicken Verde? Well, there is an explanation – it isn’t a good explanation, but it’s an explanation. I wanted cotija but it proved to be as elusive as fresh tomatillos. I originally thought I would grab feta instead but feta is a near constant in my household and I wanted to branch out. There was some halloumi, which is not part of my usual buying cycle, and I thought, close enough. In hindsight, I don’t believe “close enough” is exactly true, but it did have that clean, slightly briny taste that I was after and a charming pull not unlike that of mozzarella. To tell you the truth, I don’t care if these flatbreads are culturally confused. They’re confusion tastes so damn good.
Summer is not the time to fuss and fret over meals. Make something quick and delicious like these Chicken Verde Grilled Flatbreads and get back outside – a pool is calling.
- 1 batch marinated halloumi (see below)
- 1 batch grilled flatbreads (see below)
- 1 batch chicken verde (see below)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed & roughly chopped
- 2 ears fresh corn, corn cut from the cob
- Crushed red pepper flakes for sprinkling
- 1 (250g) package halloumi, sliced
- 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 (430 ml) jar low-sodium tomatillo salsa
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup sour cream
- Place olive oil, white vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and lime juice in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the halloumi and jalapenos to the vinegar mixture and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
- Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir on a low speed until just combine.
- With the mixer running, stream in the butter and water. Let mix for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, elastic and sticky to the touch. If too dry add a little more water (in tablespoon increments), if too sticky add more flour (in tablespoon increments).
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead by hand briefly. Form into a ball.
- Pour olive oil in a large bowl. Rotate the bowl to coat the bottom and sides. Add the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place somewhere warm to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled it's size.
- Punch the dough down and roll into a log. Divide into eighths.
- Form each eighth into a ball and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise for 20 minutes.
- Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough out until 1/8 of inch thick. Brush one side with some of the halloumi marinade and place, oiled-side down, on a hot well-oiled grill. Grill until the surface of the flatbread begins to bubble - about 2 minutes. Brush the uncooked side with some more marinade and turn. Grill for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling wrack.
- Pour tomatillo salsa into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Stir in the chicken and lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Stir in the sour cream and bring back up to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Spoon chicken verde onto the flatbreads.
- Add 3 slices of halloumi to each flatbread followed with a sprinkling of fresh corn.
- Place under a broiler and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Top each flatbread with fresh cilantro and the marinated jalapeno slices. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and serve immediately.