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Baked Chicken and Pineapple

Baked Chicken and Pineapple is a delightful and tropical-inspired dish that combines juicy chicken with sweet and tangy pineapple. The combination of flavors creates a mouthwatering meal that is perfect for weeknight dinners or special occasions. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be paired with rice or vegetables for a complete meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve the juice)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro or green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Prepare the Marinade:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).

3. Marinate the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour half of the marinade over the chicken, ensuring it is well-coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours for more flavor.

4. Prepare the Vegetables:

  • While the chicken is marinating, chop the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and red onion. Set aside.

5. Sear the Chicken:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and sear the chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this stage.

6. Arrange the Ingredients:

  • Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a baking dish. Arrange the chopped bell peppers, red onion, and pineapple chunks around the chicken.

7. Thicken the Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the remaining marinade to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

8. Bake:

  • Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken, vegetables, and pineapple in the baking dish.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

9. Serve:

  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or green onions.
  • Serve the baked chicken and pineapple with steamed rice or your favorite side dish.

Tips for Success:

  • Marinating Time: Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Longer marinating times will result in more flavorful chicken.
  • Searing the Chicken: Searing the chicken before baking helps to lock in the juices and adds a nice color to the dish.
  • Thickening the Sauce: Adding a cornstarch slurry to the marinade ensures a thick, glossy sauce that coats the chicken and vegetables perfectly.
  • Vegetable Options: Feel free to add other vegetables like zucchini, snap peas, or carrots for added color and nutrition.

Baked Chicken and Pineapple is a deliciously tropical dish that brings together sweet and savory flavors in a delightful way. This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for any occasion and pairs wonderfully with rice or a fresh salad. The combination of juicy chicken, tangy pineapple, and vibrant vegetables creates a satisfying meal that everyone will love. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a taste of the tropics in your own kitchen!

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