Caribbean Pineapple Chicken

For a buffet or family-style dish, use pineapple chunks instead of slices, and cut the chicken into pieces before coating with flour and browning. Serve over plain or Ginger Coconut Rice with steamed veggies.

8 slices of pineapple
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, slightly pounded
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup flour
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon coconut extract
pinch of ground red pepper
minced cilantro (optional)
crushed red pepper (optional)

Mix water, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, coconut extract and red pepper. Set aside.

Cut pineapple slices in half. In a nonstick skillet, sauté in oil over medium heat until slightly browned. Set aside.

Rub chicken breasts with garlic. Dredge in flour until thoroughly coated. To quickly and cleanly coat chicken breasts, toss flour and chicken into a large ziplock bag. Seal and shake to coat.

In pan juices, sauté chicken over medium heat until browned (about two minutes). Turn and brown other side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Rinse or wipe pan.

Note: you don’t need to cook the chicken in this step; you’re just browning the flour coating so that it sticks to the chicken while it’s simmering in the sauce. Cooking the flour also prevents a pasty flavor. The picture above shows both the finished, browned chicken and the uncooked, flour-coated breast.

Pour honey-soy mixture into pan. Return chicken to pan and simmer in honey mixture for 12-15 minutes over low heat. Turn chicken once during cooking being careful not to tear the coating.

Note: Make sure the sauce is only simmering. If the heat is too high, the mixture bubbles vigorously and burns, ruining the flavor of the dish. You should see a few bubbles while you’re simmering the chicken, but don’t let it boil–that will quickly burn the sauce.

Serve over rice (plain steamed, or try over Coconut Gingerroot Rice). Arranged decoratively with pineapple. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and crushed red pepper, if desired.

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