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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tea Party Ideas: BBQ Chicken Pitas with Zesty Cabbage Slaw

Tea Parties. Elegant parties with elegant little food. Cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon rolls, petit fours and the like, right? Well, not in my book.

After all, who says that tea parties have to follow the "rules" when it comes to food? In my eyes, a tea party is a chance for people to get together, drink tea, perhaps champagne, and enjoy "little" food..... and by that, I simply refer to food that can be eaten while drinking tea.

So, this weekend was my sister's bridal shower. And it was a tea party.  So of course, food was an extremely important component. The question is, are all the traditions of a tea party really necessary?

Tea parties staples are in fact, just a suggestion, but they are not a requirement. It is not mandatory to adorn the table with perfect little cheddar sandwiches, deviled eggs, and fruit tartlets. This is a an opportunity to create an interesting spread of finger foods. Of course, details are everything. They need to look good and taste fantastic.

The first item on the menu were these BBQ Chicken Pitas with Zesty Cabbage Slaw. Definitely not the traditional tea party food, but colorful, comforting and just really delicious. They were a hit!

BBQ Chicken Pita with Zesty Cabbage Slaw
Makes a lot of little pitas (or you could just pile it onto a rolls and eat it yourself for lunch!)

For the Chicken
2 kg Whole Chicken Legs, bone in, skin on
Salt and Pepper

For the BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 Onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
2 tsp Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2/3 cup Water
1/2 Orange, zest and juice
2 cups Plain BBQ Sauce (bottled)

For the Slaw
1 Head Cabbage, shredded (green, purple, or mixed)
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Raisins

For the Slaw Dressing
Juice of 1/2 Orange
Juice 1/2 Lime
2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Ginger, minced
1 small Red Chili, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Plain Yogurt

Pita Bread (you could also use bread rolls or whatever bread you like)

For the Chicken
Generously season all sides of the chicken legs with salt, pepper and paprika. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once cooled remove the skin and discard. Then shred or pull the chicken into small pieces and set aside.

For the BBQ Sauce
This is a really great way to make your own custom BBQ sauce. It really brings some additional great flavors to the table without needing to do everything from scratch.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in all the spices. Then add the water, orange juice and zest, and BBQ sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the BBQ sauce cook for about 45 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and the mixture to reduce a little.  After 45 minutes, remove the bay leaf.

Pour the BBQ sauce over the shredded chicken. Mix well and set aside.

For the Zesty Slaw
In a large bowl, add the orange and lime juices, red wine vinegar and sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the dijon, ginger and chili. Then add the olive oil and yogurt and mix until smooth and creamy looking.  Add the cabbage, onions and raisins and toss with the dressing. Set aside.

To Prepare the Pitas
Cut each pita into triangles (I cut each pita into about 8 triangles). Top with a little slaw (make sure each portion has a few raisins), then the BBQ chicken. Enjoy!


  1. Mmmm these look sooo delicious and would be a hit at any party! I'll definitely have to try these, loving your blog :)