These Armenian Garlic Rotisserie Chicken Pita Tacos are a cult phenomenon at a restaurant called Zankou Chicken. Delicious crispy, sticky rotisserie chicken served with pickled vegetables, hummus, pita bread and garlic paste. Unfortunately for me, I live approximately 400 miles from the nearest location, so I’m left to my own devices to come up with an alternative. Costco rotisserie chickens are not flavorful enough, and oven cooking has just never produced results that are juicy and fall apart tender. Until now.
My hubby came home from work today to see me photographing the results and didn’t even bother to sit down before taking a big bite and saying “wow, that’s amazing.” I just replied, “Yeah, I know!” since I took a big bite out of it before handing it to him. Want to know the secret to the chicken? A slow cooker. Yeah, I’m not even kidding. The crispy, juicy, sticky chicken? Right out of the slow cooker with only garlic salt and black pepper added to it.
Take raw skin on and bone in chicken thighs, and put them into the slow cooker skin side up. Sprinkle on a liberal amount of garlic salt and black pepper. Nothing fancy here, probably about 1tsp of garlic salt and about 1/2t of black pepper. Put on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours. NO WATER, nothing else at all. Trust me. Sometimes, I even throw garlic cloves in too. Here is the thing, the chicken is going to release liquid and fat from the skin. The garlic cloves you toss in between the chicken pieces are going to basically become garlic confit. But that is a story for a different day. Once your slow cooker is done, you’ll be left with this….
Yep, from a slow cooker. With about as minimal amount of effort as you’ve ever put into cooking something. This chicken is really just a tender, juicy fall apart rotisserie style chicken.
Now we move on to the Armenian Garlic Rotisserie Chicken Pita Tacos. Take a piece of pita bread, and put it onto your stovetop on medium high. Let the flame crisp up the bread and add a bit of color to it. Put a layer of rice [I used baked brown rice pilaf, but any kind of rice will work for you here], then pull the chicken apart into small pieces. This won’t be difficult as it is so tender. What will be more difficult is not eating it as you are pulling it apart.
Next comes the garlic paste. Ohhh, the garlic paste. This is where Zankou Chicken makes it’s customers into fanatics. It took a bit of online detective work and three trial runs to perfect this recipe. Put on a liberal amount, then add some diced fresh roma or on the vine tomatoes and kalamata olives. Finally a sprinkling of parsley and chopped up pickled vegetables and you’re ready to eat. The taste of these Armenian Garlic Rotisserie Chicken Pita Tacos are a VERY close alternative to Zankou and I promise it will not disappoint
Other alternatives to these ingredients? Instead of rice, you can put lettuce or hummus. Instead of chicken, you can use falafel or sliced lamb. Instead of garlic paste, you can USE THE GARLIC PASTE! Trust me on this. I can not stress this more strongly. Instead of the pickled vegetables, you can put jalapenos or the more traditional beet colored pickled turnips.
To get the recipe for the garlic paste that goes in these Armenian Garlic Rotisserie Chicken Pita Tacos, view this post: Zankou Chicken’s Secret Garlic Paste.
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pita bread
- kalamata olives , sliced
- tomatoes , diced finely
- parsley , diced finely
- garlic paste , recipe to follow
- pickled giardiniera
- Put chicken thighs in the slow cooker in a single layer side up. Sprinkle garlic salt and black pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours. Do not add water.
- Take a piece of pita bread, and put it onto your stovetop on medium high. Let the flame crisp up the bread and add a bit of color to it, about 15 seconds.
- Put a layer of rice then pull the chicken apart into small pieces and layer it on top. Put on a liberal amount of garlic paste, then add some tomatoes and kalamata olives. Finally a sprinkling of parsley and chopped up pickled giardiniera and you're ready to eat.