Monday, July 28, 2014

Joey's Hawaiian Chicken

I recently invited a few friends for dinner, but wasn't really in the mood for a huge project in the kitchen. I just wanted something that was quick and easy, but still deliciously comforting and satisfying. Based on a few of the ingredients I already had on hand, I Googled a few recipes, made a few changes and here we are!
 I must say this recipe FAR exceeded my expectations. It turned out perfectly! Just the right amount of sweet and savory and garlic and soy sauce and colorful vegetables. And it was ready in a snap!!!
 It doesn't happen all the time, but this one was perfect right on the first try. It's just the thing for a warm summer day when you don't feel like turning on the oven. You should definitely try this one!!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
flour for dredging 
salt and pepper
a few glugs of peanut oil (or other nut oil, or regular vegetable oil)
1 (20-oz) can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice 
2 tbs soy sauce 
2 tbs honey 
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp fresh ginger,grated
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced 
pinch crushed red pepper flakes 
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets 
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 tbs corn starch
2 tbs water
Scallions and sesame seeds to garnish, optional

  Place flour in a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour until lightly coated. Shake off excess. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet. Cook until slightly browned on all sides, but not cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate.
In the meantime, combine pineapple chunks and juice, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add pepper slices and broccoli florets to the skillet and stir fry until crisp tender. Add pineapple mixture and chicken to the pan and turn to high heat. Give everything a good stir and bring it to a boil.
 Combine corn starch and cold water in a small bowl. Pour over chicken mixture in skillet. Toss everything to combine and cook until the sauce thickens to syrup-like consistency. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and sesame seeds over top, if desired. 
I served this over Jasmine rice, but you can choose any favorite rice. For extra flavorful rice, cook it with chicken broth instead of water! 
I think next time I make this, maybe I'll add some sugar snap peas. Just sayin!
If you're cooking for guests, get a head start before your guests arrive: Yes, partially cook the chicken as directed, but also do the same by steaming the vegetables for a bit, and also mixing the sauce ingredients. Just have everything at the ready until your guests arrive. Then you can just throw everything into a hot wok. By the time the sauce thickens, the chicken and veggies will be perfectly cooked!

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