A tropical-inspired meal that is simple, delicious, and makes me feel like I’m on vacation! The chicken is marinated in a flavorful soy and pineapple juice sauce, and can be grilled or pan-fried. An easy dinner option that’s perfect for entertaining.
Super versatile, but seriously consider combining the chicken with pineapple and coconut rice, because it is a flavor combination that will make your tastebuds dance the happy dance.
WHY HAWAIIAN CHICKEN AND COCONUT RICE?
I constantly dream of the island life.
Island life. That sipping-fruity-alcoholic-drink, live-in-your-bathing-suit, sand-between-your-toes, go-to-sleep-listening-to-the-ocean-breeze, eating-fresh-seafood-and-tropical-fruits-all-the-time kinda life.
HAWAIIAN CHICKEN WITH COCONUT RICE
The time when you are, of course, on an island, then you just unwind, let go of the world’s trouble, and bask in the beauty and splendor that is all around you.
The marinade is soy-based with a combination of salty, sweet, tangy and fruity flavors. The dish also incorporates tropical ingredients such as pineapple and coconut, and has a bit of a polynesian flare to it.
HOW TO MAKE HAWAIIAN CHICKEN?
This is a marinate and grill (on a grill pan or outside grill) kind of recipe. EASY PEASY.
If you do not have a grill or do not want to mess with it, it will work pan fried as well. The only thing missing will be grill marks. I do love me some grill marks, because they sure are pretty, but not necessary.
If you use an outdoor grill, you do get a bit of a smoky flavor which is always a plus. But honestly, the marinade is so good it will work just fine indoor (not to mention easier clean up) on a grill pan or a regular pan.
The marinade for the chicken has a variety of flavors – sweet, salty, tangy, tropical, and citrusy consisting of pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup, vegetable oil, and brown sugar.
It is a gorgeous, gorgeous marinade. This recipe calls for marinating it for an hour, but if you are planning ahead you can let it sit for up to 24 hours.
In fact, the longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the more flavorful the chicken is.
When the chicken is fully cooked, brush honey generously on both sides of the chicken.
Honey, combined with all the flavors in the marinade, create this sticky, complex concoction of flavors that is just out-of-this-world delicious. YUM.
HOW LONG DO YOU GRILL CHICKEN THIGHS?
You’ll want to grill your chicken thighs for about 6-7 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of your chicken pieces. If you’re not sure if your chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. The temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should be at least 165 degrees F.
Pineapple and coconut is a wonderfully popular flavor combination, and I took this one step further by serving this Hawaiian chicken on a bed of coconut rice. You’re going to cook your rice as usual, except instead of water the rice simmers in coconut milk. I add a touch of brown sugar at the end, it doesn’t make the rice sweet at all, it just enhances the flavor of the coconut.
HOW TO SERVE HAWAIIAN CHICKEN?
Another reason why I love this dish is the grilled pineapple. There’s something magical about putting fresh ripe pineapple on grill (or pan). It caramelizes the pineapple and brings out so much sweetness.
So here you go. My little escape to the island life, in the form of my Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice. This is another one of our favorites, and I’m just excited to be able to share the recipe with you!
In my humble opinion, there’s only one way to make this Hawaiian Chicken dish complete. And that is to serve it with coconut rice.
Fragrant coconut rice, combined with the salty, sweet, tangy, citrusy chicken, and the sweet and warm pineapple, will tantalize your tastebuds, and take you on a a fun culinary adventure.
So many different flavors and textures, and so very, very good.
And guess what? Simple and straightforward to make.
Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice
- ~1 1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins 7-8 pieces
- 1/2 fresh ripe pineapple
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 5-6 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp Fresh parsley chopped
- In a food processor or blender, blend pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, fresh garlic and canola oil to create the marinade for the chicken.
- Add chicken and marinade into a zip lock bag, mix well to ensure all chicken tenderloins are covered with marinate. Marinate for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours (the longer the better!).
- Grease a grill pan, cast iron grill, charcoal grill, electric grill or non-stick skillet.
- Cook chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F. Flip halfway through. Once chicken is done, brush honey on both sides of the tenderloins and remove.
- Slice pineapple into 1/2-1 inch thick slices and grill on both sides.
- On the stovetop, in a pot, bring to boil rice, water and coconut milk. Once boiled, bring to medium low heat and cook covered (cover with a tight lid and do not open) for ~17-20 minutes (See Note 1). Remove from heat.
- If using a rice cooker, follow rice cooker instruction. Use 1:1 ratio of coconut milk to water to substitute for the amount of water needed to cook the rice.
- Serve chicken and pineapple on a bed of coconut rice, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Also note that cup measurements for the rice is based on a U.S. cup measurement, not the measuring cup that typically comes with the rice cooker.