Monday, August 13, 2012

Delicious Honey & Garlic Pineapple Chicken with Coconut-Basil Rice


Here's an incredibly delicious meal I actually kind of threw together last week.  I didn't follow a recipe for this one guys.  It's a "Leslie original"!  (If you follow me you probably know that also means a non-structured recipe. haha)   My husband and I really loved this one!  Mr. Cozy appreciates Chinese/Thai food even more than I do and with Asian inspired flavors in this dish, he really loved it!  He's been working so hard, and I want him to be able to come home to some of his favorite meals after a long day.  This is quickly becoming one of those meals!

I decided to marinade some chicken breasts in a garlic and lemon marinade and thought I'd just pan sear the chicken for dinner. Simple, but good.  After sorting through my little pantry, I found some ingredients that I thought would elevate this recipe!  Crushed pineapple, raw honey, Jasmine rice, coconut milk....


My mind was reeling, and I decided to just wing it and bring all of these flavors together with garlic and a little crushed red pepper to make a new delicious Caribbean meets Polynesian meets Asian dish!  (haha, Does that make sense??)  The next time, I will probably tweak it a little more towards the Asian influence because we like that so much.  I think that the sauce would be good to have a little soy sauce and ginger added to it.  Yum!  I like for those flavor to be used as undertones and not be overpowering.  Also, I think I added a dash of balsamic vinegar to the sauce....once again...I didn't write down the whole recipe as I was cooking. (I need to be better at that!)  The recipe I'm sharing with you serves as a good outline of what I did.  Feel free to use your creative liberties when cooking this! :)

These particular flavors marry together to make this chicken moist and incredibly flavorful.  A little savory and a little more sweet come together in this new favorite meal of ours.  I served the chicken over a bed of fluffy coconut-basil rice and poured lots of the honey pineapple sauce over the top!  We also ate a summer favorite, sauteed squash and zucchini on the side.  As I'm typing out this post, I'm thinking about when I can make this recipe again!  We love it so much and I hope you do, too!!!


Garlic Pineapple Chicken with Coconut-Basil Rice

Marinade
(Makes approx. 1/2 c. marinade)

1 1/2 cloves Minced Garlic

1/2 tsp. Chili paste (found in the Asian isle)
or red pepper flake

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 1/2 Tbsp. Raw Honey

1 1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Honey & Garlic Pineapple Chicken
2 large Chicken breasts, pounded evenly

E.V. Olive Oil

Minced Garlic
1 cup Canned Crushed Pineapple

Raw Honey 
or whatever kind you have 

Crushed Red Pepper Flake

Balsamic Vinegar

 Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper

Coconut Basil Rice
Jasmine Rice

E.V. Olive oil

Lite Coconut Milk
not cream of coconut!

Fresh Basil

Salt and Pepper

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Combine all the ingredients of the marinade and whisk together very well. 

Salt and pepper the chicken and place in a large plastic bag. 

Pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag well. 

Smoosh together and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take the chicken out of the marinade and dry off with a paper towel.  The flavors should be soaked through, and a dry piece of meat will crust much better than a wet one! 

In a large oven-proof skillet, swirl a couple of turns of olive oil around the pan. Over medium heat, sear the chicken on both sides until brown and crisp on the outside.  (About 3 minutes on each side without touching.)

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Using the same skillet, add a little more olive oil.

Add about 1 clove of minced garlic to the pan and cook for just a minute.

Add the crushed pineapple with juice.  Use the juice and a wooden spoon to scrape up the good bits on the bottom.  (I did have to discard some of the black bits that had burned a smidgen.)

Add about a couple tablespoons of honey, couple of dashes of balsamic vinegar, teaspoon of brown sugar, pinch of red pepper flake and salt and pepper.  (Here's where the next time I may omit the salt and add the soy sauce and a bit of ginger.)

Allow this to cook on medium heat for the flavors to meld and the juice thicken up. 

To ensure thickening, I added a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. I don't want a gelatinous consistency, but just a sauce that will sick to the chicken a little more.  It will bubble and look delicious!

Add the chicken back to the pan and top it with some of the bubbling pineapple sauce.

Put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or so. 

Here is when you should cook your rice!  

When the timer goes off, check in the thickest part to makes sure the chicken is done.

For the rice:  In a medium sized pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat and pour in your rice.  I always cook 1 cup of rice for us two.  That way we have a little for leftovers. 

As your rice toasts for a few minutes, you're giving it a delicious nuttiness and enhancing the flavor.  After about 5 minutes, or when you start smelling the toasty goodness, add the normal amount of your liquid.  The liquid in this case, is the coconut milk!  Add some salt and cook the rice as normal.

When finished cooking and has sat for about 10 minutes, fluff with a fork and add chopped basil and salt and pepper.  Stir together.

This dish comes together beautifully!  Serve the chicken sliced over the rice and top with lots of extra sauce.  Like I said, it's really good with sauteed fresh vegetables on the side!  Enjoy!


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1 comment:

Ali @ JamHands.net said...

That looks super delicious Leslie :) I Love the coconut rice too!