Every once in a while, when making our weekly meal plan, daddy will list something that is more of an idea than something that we really know how to make.
That is what happened this week. Yesterday I looked at the meal plan list to see that dinner was slated to be pineapple chicken.
Pineapples were on sale this week, and we love pineapple chicken when we go out for Chinese food. I just don't have a recipe for pineapple chicken. So I wasn't sure where to begin.
Okay, that's not true. I started with google.
And I found a lot of recipes, but none of them spoke to me. Until I saw this video. It looked and sounded delicious. There was just one catch - it didn't give an actual recipe. So I made one up.
I started by cutting up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and seasoning them with some garlic salt and five spice powder. I didn't measure - I just eyeballed.
I then poured in some soy sauce. Again, I didn't measure - I just poured slowly and stirred, stopping when there was just enough to coat all of the chicken pieces without actually drowning them.
The chicken was then covered and set into the refrigerator for the entire afternoon.
When it was time to prepare the stir fry, I just chose a combination of vegetables that sounded colorful and delicious. I went with sweet onion, yellow pepper (red would have been better, color-wise, but the yellow one just spoke to me...) and sugar snap peas. I stir fried them all, adding each in turn, and ended with the pineapple.
Once they were all heated through, the vegetables were set aside, and the chicken was cooked right in the same pan. Meanwhile, I mixed up a simple sauce of pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vineager, brown sugar and garlic, with a bit of cornstarch to thicken it and give it some body.
Once the chicken was cooked through, I added the veggies back in, topped it with the sauce, and cooked the whole thing until the sauce was shiny and had thickened just a bit.
And then it was time for dinner!
We served this over rice, but I bet it would be good over different kinds of noodles. And the best part was that everyone loved it. Everyone asked for seconds. Some asked for thirds. Little miss asked me to pack leftovers for her to bring to school for lunch.
So I now have a recipe for pineapple chicken, and I can't wait to make it again!
Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry
to marinate the chicken:
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
garlic salt (to taste)
five-spice powder (to taste)
soy sauce (enough to toss all of the chicken to coat, but not to cover)
Cut the chicken thighs into approximately one-inch pieces and place into a metal or glass bowl. Season lightly with the garlic salt and five spice powder, then add just enough soy sauce to coat the chicken pieces. Toss lightly to ensure that all of the pieces are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
for the sauce:
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Add cornstarch and whisk until completely combined, making sure that there are no clumps. Stir in minced garlic. Set aside.
for the stir fry:
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce bag frozen sugar snap peas (fresh, if you have them!)
1 pineapple, cut into chunks (you could use a can of diced pineapple, using the juice for the sauce above)
the marinated chicken
the prepared sauce
Heat a large sautee pan over medium high heat. Spray the pan with canola oil spray then add the onion and peppers. Stir fry until they soften, but don't let them burn. Add snap peas to the pan, again stir frying until heated through. Add pineapple. Stir to heat.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
Spray the pan once more with canola oil spray, then add the chicken (try not to get too much of the marinade in with it - don't want to poach the meat) and stir fry until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the cooked vegetables back to the pan with the chicken, toss to combine, then add the sauce. Continue to cook, stirring constantly to make sure that everything is well coated, until the sauce is shiny and has thickened a little bit.
Serve over rice.