Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thai Peanut Pineapple Chicken

I found this recipe on Carls' Bad Cravings Blog, I have found several other recipes there in the past and was excited to try this one! You can find the original recipe here! I stuck to the recipe relatively closely, making only a couple minor changes, based on my family's preferences.

I started my marinade by combining 1/3 cup of pineapple juice, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. The juice from 1 lime gave me about a tablespoon of lime juice.

I then whisked in 2 teaspoons of sriracha, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of ground garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (I always do pepper by eye).

Once my marinade was done, I set a side about 1/3 cup to marinade the chicken in and put the remaining marinade in a pan to make the sauce for the chicken. I combined the 1/3 cup of marinade with 5 raw chicken breasts (cut into bite sized chunks) and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 1 hours (this could be extended out to four!) While my chicken was marinating, I worked on the sauce and the fruit!
 I added 1/3 cup of coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch to the marinade in the saucepan. I put my pan on high heat to bring the mixture to a boil (stirring often) then I reduced the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 minute.

I removed my sauce pan from the heat and added 1/3 cup of peanut butter. Once my peanut butter was whisked in, I found the mixture a little too thin so I returned it to the stove where I let it simmer longer until it was at the consistency I wanted. If your mixture gets too thick, you can add a little bit of water to thin it out. At this point, my family had a little taste test of the sauce to decide if we should be adding anything to it. You could add more lime juice, more sriracha, more brown sugar, or more peanut butter based on your preferences. We decided on more lime juice and more peanut butter, so I added the juice of half of lime and dollop of peanut peanut butter.
I cut up 1 whole pineapple into 1 inch slices as well as some similarly sized red peppers. I only cut up about a half of a pepper because it wasn't on the original recipe, so I wasn't sure how it would taste with the meal but I wanted to try because I LOVE grilled red pepper! It ended up being delicious, and I highly recommend throwing some red pepper in with the pineapple/chicken combo. However, if red pepper is not your favorite, just leave it out!
Once my chicken was done marinating, I put it on skewers. (NOTE it's important to let your wooden skewers soak in water for at least 30 minutes!) I chose to separate the pineapple/red pepper and chicken, but you could put a mix of them on every skewer. At this point, the skewers went on the barbecue and let me tell you, I do not do the barbecuing in this house!! The skewers were cooked on medium-high heat on the grill for about 10 minutes, being rotated every 2 minutes until they were cooked through. The pineapple and red pepper skewers were done separately on higher heat for about 5 minutes.

You could oven broil the skewers, by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spraying with cooking spray and letting the skewers cook for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes.

I put out the spicy peanut butter sauce, some chopped green onions and some crushed peanuts, to garnish the chicken skewers. The skewers were served with rice and they were absolutely delicious! I was expecting this dish to be good but I was blown away by just how good it was!! I will definitely be going back to Carls' Bad Cravings Blog to hunt for some more yummy food!

Thai Peanut Pineapple Chicken:
4-6 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 fresh pineapple cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red pepper cut into 1 inch pieces (OPTIONAL)

The Sauce:
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup peanut butter

The Marinade:
1/3 cup Pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (juice from 1 lime)
1-2 teaspoons of sriracha
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1/2 ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Garnish:
Green onions, chopped
crushed peanuts

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, sriracha, dried basil, ground garlic, ground ginger and black pepper. Set aside 1/3 to marinate chicken and pour the rest into a medium sized saucepan.
2. Cut 4-6 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and come with 1/3 cup of marinade. Let the chicken marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the fridge.
3. Add coconut milk and cornstarch to the remaining marinade in the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for one minute. Remove the sauce from heat and add in peanut butter. (Add additional lime juice, sriracha, brown sugar or peanut to taste) If the sauce is to thin return it to a simmer on medium-low heat until it thickens. If the sauce us too thick add a little bit of water to thin it out.
4. Cut Pineapple and red pepper into 1 inch chunks and place them on skewers that have been soaking for at least 30 minutes.
5. Once chicken has marinated for desired amount of time, remove it from the fridge and put it on skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. 
6. Cook the chicken on the barbecue at  medium-high heat for 2 minute intervals, rotating every 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Cook the pineapple and red pepper at higher heat for about 5 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Broil the chicken in the oven on a baking sheet covered in tinfoil and sprayed with cooking spray for 10-15 minutes rotating the skewers every five minutes.
 7. Serve chicken skewers alongside rice with some green onions, crushed peanuts and the spicy peanut sauce to garnish.


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