Friday, February 25, 2011

Hawaiian Chicken

Yesterday's snow day was the perfect opportunity for me to pull out of one of my husband's favorite dishes... Hawaiian Chicken.  When it's cold outside, sometimes you need to bring the "tropical" into your life via your food!  I got this recipe when we first got married from my fantastic sister-in-law Sybil and it never disappoints.

It's very easy to make, not a lot of prep time and the taste... and the smell of it cooking... oh it's heavenly!!

This is what you need:  (scroll to the bottom for regular recipe)

Chicken breasts, flour, olive oil, pineapple rings (or chunks), sugar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, chicken bouillon, cornstarch, ginger root, bell pepper.

Start by adding 1/4 cup of flour in a shallow bowl.

This is optional, but I like to then add 1/4 cup bread crumbs (mine are Italian seasoned) to the flour.

Mix your bread crumbs & flour together and dredge your chicken breasts until they're well coated.

Just like this!

Heat a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.

Brown your chicken breasts evenly on both sides.  Don't worry about cooking the chicken through - that will get done in the oven, but you just want to get a nice golden color on the outside.

Arrange your chicken in a baking dish (I use my 8x8 pyrex) and set aside.

In a 2-cup measuring device, drain the pineapple juice from your rings (or chunks...since that's all I had on hand).  

Add enough water to make it 1 1/4 cups.

Now add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix well.

Transfer the pineapple/cornstarch mix into a small saucepan and add 3/4 cup of sugar.

1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.

1 tablespoon of soy sauce.

1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1tsp of poultry seasoning)

And 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root.  If you don't have the fresh stuff... go buy it ~ it's worth it.  If you're in a pinch you can use the ground ginger, but trust me - the real stuff - AMAZING!

I use my handy-dandy micro-plane zester for my ginger root (if you don't own one of these... I implore you, please go out and buy one immediately.  It's changed my life!) but you can use a regular grater too.

Now whisk this all together over medium heat until it comes to a full boil.

The color and consistency will change quite a bit as it comes to a boil.  It will start to thicken and become like a thick syrup.  Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer/boil for another 4 minutes and then remove from heat.

While your sauce is finishing up - toss in some of those pineapple chunks and slice up a bell pepper into nice rings and arrange over top.  The pineapple rings are far prettier, and they would have made this dinner look more sensational so I apologize - but I was already committed to this dinner when I realized I was out of rings.  I am so ashamed!

Now take your heavenly smelling, sweet n' sour-y, wonderful sauce and pour it all over the chicken.  Then pop it in the oven at 375'F for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Finished product... bubbling tangy sauce over the juiciest, tenderest chicken breasts with the sweetness of the pineapple and the crunchy texture of the bell pepper - it's heaven in your mouth people!!!

Serve it up over some rice and make sure you give yourself some extra sauce to pour over it all.

Dig in and enjoy... we sure did!!

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 can of pineapple rings (or chunks) with juice
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon (1 cube) chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 bell pepper, sliced in rings

1.  In a shallow bowl combine the flour & bread crumbs.  Dredge the chicken breasts until well coated.
2.  In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the chicken on both sides.  Don't worry about cooking through - you just want a nice golden brown on the outsides.
3.  Preheat oven to 375'F.
4.  Drain your pineapple juice from the can into a 2-cup measuring cup.  Add water to make 1 1/4 cups.  Add the cornstarch and mix well.
5.  Transfer the cornstarch/pineapple juice into a small saucepan and add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, chicken bouillon and ginger.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer for another 4 minutes.
6.  Arrange chicken in a baking dish (such as an 8x8 pyrex).  Top with pineapple rings and bell pepper slices and pour sauce over top.
7.  Bake at 375'F for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice.