Chicken Tikka Wrap

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I loathe the idea of returning from a vacation very much because I am the kind of person who likes to revisit pictures (over and over), cherish memories made, and remain in denial for a week or so to finally get out of vacation mode.

Surprisingly, things went a lot smoother this time - I was anxious to unpack and stow away five pairs of shoes (I ended up only using two but still you never know), cleaned up a little and refreshed the whole house with this candle. 

While the laundry was still pending, I was more desperate to stock up on fresh produce because you can only justify eating homemade french twists as your meals for so long (hello calorie heaven and deliciousness). If you are ever in this situation, start with fresh blended fruit juice and these granola bars to reset the system; it leaves you feeling healthy and also replenishes a lot of vitamins and minerals our bodies deserve.  As much as I enjoy not having to wash the dishes and eat whatever cuisine I desire while vacationing, after awhile I do miss being present in my kitchen...There is nothing more joyous than playing with my old pots and pans, reaching for familiar spices, and creating something spectacular out of ordinary - like this chicken tikka wrap which is very easy to make, fills you up instantly and works great for both lunch and dinner. 

If you are feeling ambitious, make everything ahead of time, go get your laundry done and assemble these wraps whenever you are ready to eat. Or, simply watch a movie and enjoy these wraps bursting with different flavors and textures in your mouth. 

Chicken tikka is a very famous Indian dish where chicken pieces are marinated with spices and yogurt then baked in a clay oven called a tandoor. Since tandoor is not very practical (Not gonna lie, if you got one it would make me a little jealous), an oven, grill pan or outdoor grill can be used at home. 

To maintain the juiciness of the chicken, I have provided few tips at the bottom which has worked for me...And if you want something meatless, substitute chicken with paneer or get inspired by these tandoori tofu wraps.

Chicken Tikka Wrap Makes about 6 wraps

Ingredients

For Chicken Tikka

1.5 lbs chicken thigh, boneless and skinless 1 tablespoon chicken tikka masala (available at Indian grocery stores) 1.5 tablespoon plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (regular yogurt works too) 2 teaspoon red chili powder salt and pepper to taste  2-3 tablespoon oil For the spread:  1 tablespoon mint chutney and 2 tablespoon non-fat Greek yogurt To assemble wrap:  6 tortilla wraps (I used spinach-herb but any kind will work) 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 2-3 medium tomato, thinly sliced and insides removed handful fresh mint leaves, few Thai chili chopped (optional)

Directions:   - In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chicken tikka except for oil and let it marinade for at least 5-8 hours covered in the refrigerator. - Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a grill pan over medium heat. Arrange chicken pieces and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side making sure they are evenly cooked on both sides. Use the remaining oil to baste the chicken every minute or so. - Remove from heat and set aside. - In the meantime, make the spread by combining mint chutney with yogurt until evenly mixed together. - Cut chicken pieces into strips or bite-size. - Warm the tortilla (totally optional but I noticed it makes wrapping little easier) then spread a thin layer of spread, onion tomatoes and chicken, add mint and chili if you like as shown in the picture above. Add more spread if you like.  - Wrap then tightly and enjoy.  

My family & I are big fans of Rajah Tandoori Masala for its great flavor and color. I used this mint chutney to make the spread. ( I was not paid to say this - I just love these two products).  How to keep chiken tikka juicy and flavorful? 

- Use a combination of dark and white meat such as breast and thighs because using just white meat (chicken breast) will result in dry tikkas or just use all thighs. 
- Do not cut chicken into small pieces before cooking. I kept mine slightly smaller than palm size.  
- Allow enough time to marinade. I usually marinade it before going to work and make it when I get back (8-9 hours).
- Cook it at medium high temperature and baste the chicken pieces with oil and remaining marinade (if any left) every minute or as needed.
In the past: I made Chipotle Turkey Chili after visiting South Beach and fudge is a MUST after coming home away from home (part I, part II). 
 
How do you deal with post-vacation blues?