Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine.
Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!
Serving meats topped with a glaze is an easy (and really tasty) way to dress up a meal. Using natural fruit juice, such as pineapple juice, combined with other seasonings is a simple method to create both a marinade and a glaze. Part of the mixture is used to marinate the chicken while the rest is reserved to create a glaze and transform this into a delicious Hawaiian inspired meal.
Pineapple has naturally occurring digestive enzymes which also work in a marinade to tenderize the chicken. If you use fresh pineapple juice you will only want to marinate for about an hour so the meat doesn’t become mushy. Canned pineapple juice still contains these enzymes but in a significantly less concentration due to the canning process so you can leave your chicken to marinate much longer.
The natural sweetness of pineapple juice and palm sugar in the marinade is what will caramelize in the pan to create beautiful grill or sear marks on your chicken. You can get these grill or sear marks without the sweetness but the markings are enhanced when there are sugars present in your marinade. To get a good sear, it is important that the fry pan or grill pan is very hot. Sear your meat on both sides on high heat for a just a few minutes and then turn the heat down and cover the pan to continue cooking without burning the outside. When finished, you will have a gorgeous piece of perfectly browned chicken worthy of being glazed. The silky smooth glaze is also delicious spooned over rice or sweet potatoes as the perfect flavor compliment to your meal.
Pineapple Glazed Chicken
Calories 279, Protein 28g, Carbs 39g, Fat 2g
Prep time: 20 min, plus marinating time
Cook time: 20 min
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- 3/4-1 cup pineapple juice (if using canned pineapple for the salsa, just use whatever juice is in the can)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1-2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce (sambal oelek)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients:
- 2 cups pineapple, finely diced (or use 20 oz canned pineapple)
- 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno or serrano, seeded and finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Mix together all marinade ingredients.
- Add 1/3 of the marinade to the chicken breasts in a bowl or zip top bag and marinate chicken breasts for 2-4 hours if canned pineapple juice is used or only up to 1 hour if using fresh pineapple juice. Reserve the rest of the marinade to make the glaze.
- While chicken is marinating, mix together all salsa ingredients in a bowl and set in the fridge.
- Heat a grill pan or sauté pan with olive oil until very hot.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Toss the marinade out.
- Place chicken in pan at a diagonal to the grill lines. Let sear 2-3 minutes until browned.
- Turn chicken over and let the other side sear 2-3 minutes until browned.
- Turn chicken again and place on the opposite diagonal. Turn heat down to medium and cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook chicken about 5 minutes and flip over again and cook the other side about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- In a small saucepan, add the reserved 2/3 of the marinade (the portion that didn’t touch the chicken) and add 2 teaspoons tapioca starch.
- Heat on medium high until glaze has thickened and then remove from heat.
- Brush chicken with glaze. Remaining glaze is also delicious stirred into rice or over sweet potatoes.
- Top with pineapple salsa.