Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and Pineapple
Simple, easy, and tasty. We love this sweet and savory chicken marinade for grilled chicken breast. The pineapple gives it a nice Hawaiian flavor. Serve it with the accompanying grilled pineapple over rice. This is a quick 20 minute dinner!
For The Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breast cut into tenders or strips
- ¼ cup canned pineapple juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 - 2 tsp. sweet red chili sauce optional
- Fresh cilantro to taste
For The Pineapple
- 1 large pineapple 12 wedges
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
In a one gallon ziplock bag place all the ingredients for the chicken except the cilantro. Seal the bag and shake the contents around until all the ingredients are mixed and the chicken is coated.
Leave the bag on the counter to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours flipping occasionally.
Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple and cut the rind off the sides. Cut the pineapple into quarters from top to bottom and then cut out the core of each piece. Slice the quarters into about 4 spears each.
Place the spears of pineapple into a 2nd gallon ziploc bag with the ¼ cup brown sugar. Toss gently to coat and leave out with the chicken.
When the marinating is finished, pre-heat your grill to a medium heat of about 350 F.
Add the pineapple to the grill first and let it cook 3-4 minutes before adding the chicken. (Reserve the sugar sauce for basting or serving if desired.)
Add the chicken along side of the pineapple. Grill 4-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked on the bottom. Flip the chicken and the pineapple and grill another 2-4 minutes until the chicken is firm to the touch and has reached an internal temperature of 160 F.
The pineapple is done when it is hot through and has good grill marks. Remove the chicken and pineapple to a platter and use a cooking brush to baste the sauce from the pineapple bag over both if desired.
Tear up some fresh cilantro leaves and scatter over the chicken and pineapple. Serve with steamed rice. Teriyaki sauce and sweet chili sauce are good condiments for this meal.
Only Use Canned Pineapple Juice: Pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain. It is amazing for breaking down meat protein and making it tender. However, it can also go too far and destroy the texture of your chicken. Canned pineapple juice has been heated which deactivates the enzyme. It will give you a great marinade without breaking down the chicken too much.
Time is Key: When it comes to pineapple juice some time to marinate is good but too much is bad. I found that more than two hours in the marinade was too much. This is not a marinade to leave overnight.
Store Leftovers Separately: I also suggest storing any leftover pineapple and chicken in two separate containers. The grilled pineapple will probably not be heated enough to deactivate the enzyme.
Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 715mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg