I’m always on the hunt for new dishes that can be made relatively easily but have great flavor and that keep us excited about making (and eating) dinner. Daren and I love pineapple in chicken dishes, so I knew this would be a hit. It took just slightly more time than I thought it would, only because of the small size of my current dutch oven – which meant I had to cook the chicken in batches. Can’t wait to get my first Le Creuset – that will happen soon, hopefully! Other than that, the dish came together easily and as expected, and added some nice variety to our typical meal choices.
The chicken pieces are pan fried in just a small amount of oil – don’t be tempted to add more oil to get more of a deep-fried flavor. I tried it both ways, and the chicken with less oil in the pan actually turned out crispier and with a better golden-brown color. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of garlic chili sauce to play around with the level of heat.
For the sauce:
- 1 cup pineapple juice (I used the juice drained from a can of pineapple chunks)
- 1 tbsp. garlic chili sauce (or Sambal Oelek; I found these in the Asian section of the grocery store, next to the sriracha)
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
For the chicken/vegetables:
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cubed
- canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (from a can of pineapple chunks is fine)
- Rice, for serving
To make the sauce, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Toss the cubed chicken with the cornstarch until well-dusted. Add enough oil to a large skillet or dutch oven to coat the bottom (with just a little extra). Once hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides, until completely cooked through. Remove from the skillet.
Add a small amount of additional oil to the skillet if necessary, and then sauté the onions and peppers for about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook about 30 seconds. Stir in the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until thick, adding in the pineapple chunks during the final minute.
Remove from the heat and add the chicken back in, tossing to coat. Serve over rice.
Yield: about 4 servings