Pineapple Chicken is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken. This dish is a perfect blending of pineapple and chicken flavors.
I start preparing this dish by making a pineapple sauce. I use a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple that is in 100% pineapple juice. There are canned pineapple options that are in syrup, which is basically sugar water. You want to use pineapple in pineapple juice. The pineapple juice will give you a stronger pineapple flavor. I like using crushed pineapple because I prefer smaller pieces, but you could use pineapple chunks, or whatever pineapple variety you prefer. Drain the pineapple to get the juice. You may need to press the pineapple to squeeze out enough juice. It's ok if you don't quite have 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice, the sauce will still work. If you are more than a couple tablespoons short on juice, you could add water to make up the difference. The sauce won't have as strong a flavor, but will be ok. I would make up the difference with water as opposed to opening another can of pineapple. I make this sauce similar to how I make sauces with chicken or beef broth. Basically, you mix the liquid with some spice, get the liquid boiling, then to thicken it.
The chicken is cut into bite size pieces and coated in cornstarch, pepper and salt. I've made quite a few dishes with chicken, or shrimp, coated in cornstarch. The chicken, or shrimp, is more crispy when coated with cornstarch than when coated with flour. I have also made this dish using potato starch. Either cornstarch or potato starch works equally as well. In my area, cornstarch is more readily available in the stores I normally shop in and it is less expensive than potato starch.
Once the chicken is cooked, toss it in the sauce then add the crushed pineapple. I serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds. I love sesame, so I garnish heavily. You can omit the sesame seeds, or adjust the quantity to your taste.
If you want to add some heat to the dish, you could add your favorite hot sauce to the sauce. If you've read some of my other posts, you know Jeff is not a fan of hot foods, so I don't use hot sauce too often.
This dish is good as leftovers, too. It makes a nice lunch.
I hope you enjoy Pineapple Chicken!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice Juice saved from the pineapple is used with the chicken. So save it.
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained Use the drained juice for the sauce.
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds Optional, for garnish
- Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. You may have to press the pineapple in order to get enough juice for the sauce. Set the juice and pineapple aside.
- Put the 1/2 cup of cornstarch, pepper and salt in a large plastic bag with a zipper seal. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
- Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch, seal the bag, and toss the chicken so that it is all coated well. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
- Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the pineapple juice and soy sauce then turn up the heat. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, take two tablespoons of the sauce and place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling sauce in the skillet, whisking as you go. Continue whisking until the cornstarch mixture is incorporated and the sauce begins to thicken. This can take a few minutes.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will be a little shiny.
- Put the sauce into a large heat resistant bowl. You will be adding the cooked chicken to this bowl, so make sure the bowl is large enough.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Heat over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and cook until golden brown. Make sure the chicken is in a single layer. If your skillet is not large enough for the chicken to be in a single layer, you can fry the chicken in two or more batches. Let the chicken brown and get a little crispy before turning. Add more oil, as needed. I use tongs to turn the chicken.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Add the crushed pineapple to the chicken mixture and stir until you have an even mixture of chicken and pineapple.
- I like to serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds.