Monday, April 21, 2014

Pineapple Chicken

It’s been forever since I posted a new recipe and you guys, I am really sorry. Bad food blogger! Bad! But let me make it up to you with a new recipe that is actually pretty good. In spite of the great reviews it got on Food52, I was worried when I made the marinade. Pineapple and ketchup? Molasses and soy sauce? Malt vinegar? I mean, it sounds like something I would have mixed up as a child born with no tastebuds. But it did turn out really flavorful. Sweet and a little sour, with an Asian flair and a tiny bit of spice. My only regret is that we had a hard time getting it to carmelize and I think that would have made it even better. Next time I think I will try this on grilled chicken to get that tasty char. The only sub I made was to use sambal olek instead of sriracha because the Hubs doesn’t like it (I KNOW, right?).

8 oz pineapple
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup molasses
3 Tbsps malt vinegar
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp Sriracha (or Sambal Olek to taste)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp grated ginger
2 pounds chicken, cut into one inch cubes
2 Tbsps vegetable oil

I used a fresh pineapple and didn’t know how much would be 8 ounces, so I used about a quarter of a large one. Puree the pineapple in your food processor before adding in the soy sauce, molasses, malt vinegar, ketchup, Sriracha, garlic and ginger. Pulse it until it’s mixed well. You may want to stir the bottom to get all the molasses up. Put your chicken in a large Ziploc bag or a bowl and pour the marinade over, making sure it all gets covered. The recipe called for 6 hours in the marinade, and we only did 5, but I think when I make this again I may go even less (3 or maybe 2 hours). Acid breaks down the meat and this went a touch too far for me.

Heat your oil in a skillet over high heat and cook the chicken until it’s cooked through and the marinade carmelizes a bit on the outside. Set it aside and deglaze the pan with the rest of the marinade, letting it reduce and thicken for 5 or 6 minutes before pouring it over the chicken. You definitely want to cook it long enough to cook up any raw chicken bits left in the marinade. Then serve over steamed rice. You can also add in some broccoli, which might round out the meal a little bit more.

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