April 27, 2010

Pineapple Chicken

Here's a variation on the usual sweet 'n' sour chicken...

I define this dish as "semi-sweet and sour chicken" because, unlike most of my experiences with said meal, this variation isn't overly sweet. I use 2 teaspoons of sugar, which I find makes the sauce sufficiently sweet. The pineapple juice also adds some sweetness and, along with the pineapple chunks and cider vinegar, contributes a nice tartness to the dish.

This meal tastes so good

Start off by lightly breading and seasoning two large boneless skinless chicken breasts. Then brown the chicken slightly before placing it in an oven-safe dish (I use an 8"x8" glass Pyrex baking dish). Next, mix up the sauce, which includes pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, cider vinegar, and spices. The corn starch will thicken the sauce, and it'll get quite bubbly. Once you pour the sauce on top of the chicken and pop it in the oven, you can start making a side dish of quinoa or rice. Thirty minutes later, cover the chicken with the pineapple chunks and red bell pepper pieces. Twenty or thirty minutes after that, you'll be eating a delicious hot meal! 

Note: When purchasing a can of pineapple chunks, choose the type that is packaged in pineapple juice, not syrup.

Side dish ideas: Cooked quinoa or rice, steamed broccoli or Brussels sprouts, or a salad.

Pineapple Chicken
Estimated preparation time: 35 minutes
Estimated total baking time: 50 - 60 minutes
(Total time: About 90 minutes)
Serves: 2 - 4

Ingredients
  • 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 2)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the skillet)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Slice off any excess fat, if desired.
3. Mix together the whole wheat flour, salt, and lemon pepper seasoning.
4. Place the flour mixture in a large zip-lock bag, add the chicken, seal the bag, then gently shake it to move the chicken around and coat it with the mixture. (You could instead place the mixture in a large bowl and dredge the chicken in it.)
5. Coat the bottom of a 12-inch skillet with olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil).
6. Cook the chicken in the skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.
7. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish (an 8"x8" glass dish will work).
8. Drain the pineapple juice from the can into a two-cup measuring cup. Add water, if needed, to make 1 cup of liquid.
9. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice (and water), cider vinegar, soy sauce, ground ginger, onion powder, dried rosemary leaves, cornstarch, and sugar.
10. Bring sauce mixture to a boil, stirring often. Boil the mixture until it thickens and gets bubbly--about 2 minutes.
11. Pour sauce over chicken in baking dish. Sprinkle extra ground ginger on top, if desired.
12. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
*Meanwhile, prepare a quinoa or rice side dish.*
13. Slice the red bell pepper and then chop it into 1-inch pieces.
14. Remove the dish from the oven (after 30 minutes has passed).
15. Scatter the pineapple chunks and red bell pepper evenly on top of the chicken and sauce.
16. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Be sure the chicken looks fully cooked and tender.
17. Cut the chicken into large chunks before serving, if desired.
18. Serve over cooked quinoa or rice.


Enjoy!

2 comments:

Geoff and Amy said...

Abigail - I made the pineapple chicken tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Geoff said that it was like a "taste explosion" in his mouth! :-) I can't wait to make this again. One funny substitute I had to make was that I used 2 tsp worcestershire sauce for the 1/4 cup of soy sauce. I always have soy sauce, but must have just run out, because I couln't find it in the fridge! I had to quickly think of something that might work instead and thought a bit of worcestershire sauce would do the trick! Very yummy indeed!

abigail said...

Worcestershire sauce seems like a totally ideal substitution. :) Excellent! I'm really glad to hear you liked this dish. It's on my list to make this week, too. Yum.