When it comes to chicken I’ve noticed people fall into a rut with it. Typically they have 2, maybe 3, awesome chicken recipes up their sleeves and they tend to rotate between those. Now even I, with the bajillion ways I can make chicken, fall into that rut. Well I was bound and determined to make something new; something outside of the box. Plus truth be told, I had 12 cans of Pineapple chunks in my pantry that I was sick of seeing (Mr. Fantabulous LOVES canned pineapple – plus real as well but it’s not in season here).
So full disclosure this recipe evolved out of a need – a need to make more space in my pantry AND a need to make something different and new with chicken. Now when it comes to boneless chicken I only ever buy chicken breasts as I’m a white meat girl but my butcher had absolutely GORGEOUS boneless thighs. Now I try not to eat dark meat as it’s less healthy than the white meat as it has a higher fat percentage but the flavor is so much richer. Chicken breasts have about 5 grams of fat while thighs have about 15 grams with about ~60 calories less for the breasts. The first time I made this I made with the boneless breasts and the 2nd time I made with the thighs. They both are amazing but do have a slight variance in flavor.
The chicken breasts were juicy and tender and full of flavor. The chicken thighs were very juice and tender but had a more richer flavor; it had a bit more depth to it. What I would do next time is probably do a mixture of both in the same pan. This way the flavors marry together between the white and dark meat.
This is seriously a really, REALLY easy dish to make. Literally you put the chicken in the dish, whisk up the rest of the stuff over medium heat until thickened (well not the pineapples or almonds), place the pineapples on top of the chicken, pour the sauce over and top with the almonds. The first time I made this sauce I literally just whisked it all in a bowl and poured it over top of the chicken and baked it. The sauce was super thin and didn’t really thicken up like I had hoped during the baking. So the 2nd time I pre-cooked the sauce a bit to thicken it up slightly and then poured it over the chicken to bake. THAT was the ticket to the luscious thick glaze you see in these pictures.
To help fix the first batch all I did was remove the chicken, strain out the almonds and pineapple and just cook the liquid for a few minutes. Same exact glaze as the 2nd batch though I think the 2nd batch was easier. So take my advice and cook the glaze first to help thicken it.
This definitely was a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner and will surely be a part of my “chicken rut” though that’s not a bad thing! This dish has a slight Asian flair with some semblance of teriyaki chicken. My next task with this chicken is to make it in the crock pot. I’m thinking it would be really simple – on high for 3-4 hours or 6-8 on low all ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch and water. I’d add them the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, lid off to get that thickness. Plus for texture I think I would only cook 1/2 of the almonds and reserve the other half to sprinkle on when it’s done for that crunchy factor.
So yeah if you’re looking to get out of that Chicken Rut Chicken Butt *wink* OR to make room in your pantry because you have 12 cans of pineapple chunks, make this! On a side note, if you didn’t have pineapple chunks I bet you canned mango or even mandarin oranges would be awesome in this. OR why not all 3? Go tropical!
Speaking of tropical…*sigh* I so need a vacation! Anyone want some company for a week? We can cook together! haha
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice (not syrup)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbl low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 Tbl cornstarch
- 1 Tbl water
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 450F, middle rack.
- Lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the pan, not overlapping.
- Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving 1/2 cup of the juice.
- Whisk the pineapple juice, honey, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce together in a medium-sauce pan.
- Place over medium heat and simmer, whisking often until it’s thickened slightly. ~about 8 minutes.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a small bowl, then whisk into the pineapple honey sauce.
- Place the pineapple chunks over top of the chicken
- Pour the pineapple honey sauce over the chicken, and then sprinkle with the almonds.
- Bake for 15-22 minutes or until the chicken registers 165F.