Pita Pockets Are The Key To Switching Up Homemade Breadcrumbs

The crunch factor in foods like chicken cutlets and crispy shrimp is essential to pull off a satisfying meal. Nobody wants a soggy piece of chicken, after all. To obtain the perfect bite, some home cooks and chefs turn to breadcrumbs instead of just plain flour. Many varieties of breadcrumbs are available at the grocery store from panko to Italian seasoned, but like many other ingredients, homemade is best if you have the time. Believe it or not, those leftover pita pockets in your pantry might seem like an unlikely base for tasty breadcrumbs, but trust us, you'll be putting these atop all your favorite dishes.

It's a great way to use stale pita pockets so the bread doesn't end up in the trash. Pita also has a mild flavor on its own, so it's easy to spruce up with seasonings or use plain and let the other ingredients shine. Fresh pita pockets also work for crunchy breadcrumbs, but you'll need to bake them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes, or until they reach your desired crunch.

Your food processor can transform pita pockets into breadcrumbs

When the pita pockets are dried or out of the oven, the next step is to use a food processor. Cut or break up the pita into smaller pieces then toss them in the appliance. This is when you can add a drizzle of olive oil or your preferred seasonings to enhance the flavor. Process the breadcrumbs until you reach a fine consistency. It's best not to keep the breadcrumbs too big or they won't give foods like chicken cutlets the right texture. You can stop here, or you can toast the homemade breadcrumbs. When toasted, the breadcrumbs will get crunchier and the oil or butter will enhance the flavor.

As for seasonings, a simple combination of black pepper, salt, garlic pepper, and dried herbs like oregano will give them flavors similar to store-bought Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs. To give the pita breadcrumbs a Middle Eastern touch, consider za'atar seasoning, sumac, or Aleppo pepper. Freshly chopped herbs like parsley will also infuse your crumbs with fresh flavor. Once you've spiced up your pita breadcrumbs, use them as a crunchy topping for baked macaroni and cheese, to coat shrimp or fish, or to replace the flour in fried chicken.