Chicken and Pineapple Poached in Soy and Sesame Sauce

Chicken and pineapple in a soy glaze over jasmine rice with sesame green beans and pickled cucumber

 

 

Chicken and pineapple in a soy glaze over jasmine rice with sesame green beans and pickled cucumber

The merits of combining chicken and pineapple

Why add pineapple to chicken? Why pair juicy chicken breasts with sweet and tangy pineapple?  The answer is that they can actually really compliment each other.  I know that there are some of you out there that do not believe in adding something sweet to a hearty meat dish and I would understand completely.  Too many times I have ordered and eaten a dish that piled on on the sweetness with either honey, sugar or a fruit component.  The end result was barely palatable.

For this recipe, I prefer to use only a little bit of pineapple. instead of overloading on the fruit, I judiciously add it to the recipe at just the right time.  This lends the dish a perfect hint of sweetness and tartness that enhances the salty flavors of the soy sauce and chicken breast wonderfully.  The end result are chunks of pineapple that turn salty-sweet from the soy sauce, cooking wine, garlic, and ginger sauce.  Add a touch of sesame oil and combine it all with juicy chicken breasts and it is pure heaven.

To add to my joy, this chicken and pineapple dish is also an easy meal to prepare. First, combine all sauce ingredients in a large pan and get it bubbling on the stove.  Then add some chicken breasts, pineapple and a dash of sesame oil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 min.  Bam!  Serve with steamed rice and you’ve got yourself a deliciously easy dinner!

The delicious pairing of salt and sweet

For me as a kid, nothing was as big of a bummer as being served Hawaiian pizza.  This was a time in my life when I keep the sweet and savory completely separate.  Ice cream in one bowl, potato chips in the other and never the two shall me!

When it came to adding fruit to meat, I abided by my father who always said, “Leave the fruit in the bowl”.  So I did just that and painstakingly removed all pineapple from each pizza slice before sinking my teeth into what was remaining which was a sad carnage of a pizza slice besieged by pineapple craters and mutilated pieces of Canadian bacon chunks.

As an adult, I still don’t care much for Hawaiian pizza (Let’s face it, this is a divisive issue) but I have a better understanding of the concept.  After all, pairing a little sweetness with something salty like bacon or ham can produce delicious results. So, for all you skeptics out there who do not like anything remotely sweet near their precious meat, I urge you to start experimenting with that flavor combination and to do it the best way possible, little by little.

 

Chicken and pineapple in a soy glaze garnished with sesame seeds

Soy sauce, wine, garlic, ginger and water in a bowl
Combine soy sauce, cooking wine, garlic, ginger and water.
chicken breasts cooking in soy mixture
Add to a large lidded skillet or pan and bring to boil. Add chicken.
Chicken breasts and pineapple cooking in soy mixture
Once at a boil with chicken breasts, add pineapple to bubbling sauce. Add 2 tbsp of sesame oil to the chicken and sauce. Reduce heat to low or medium-low (whichever keeps a consistent simmer going), cover and cook until chicken has cooked through.  Should be about 20-30 minutes.
Chicken and pineappe cooked in soy sauce mixture thickened with cornstarch
When chicken is done, add the cornstarch mixed with water and stir into sauce.  Let bubble for a minute or two until sauce has thickened.
meat and fruit in a soy glaze over jasmine rice with sesame green beans
When the sauce is thick, turn off the heat and serve. Garnish the chicken and pineapple with sesame seeds or chopped scallions and serve with steamed rice and sesame green beans.
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Chicken and pineapple in a soy glaze over jasmine rice with sesame green beans and pickled cucumber

Chicken and Pineapple Poached in Soy and Sesame Sauce


  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x

Description

Chicken and pineapple poached in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and cooking wine for a savory Asian inspired dish. A quick and delicious weeknight dinner! #chicken #pineapple #easymeals #midweekmeals #familydinners


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 34 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 cup (240 ml)  water
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 34 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp of cornstarch mixed with an ounce (30 ml) or so of water.

Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce, cooking wine, garlic, ginger and water.
  2. Add to a large lidded skillet or pan and bring to boil.
  3. Once at a boil, add chicken breasts and pineapple to bubbling sauce and submerge as best as you can.   If that is not possible, simply flip them on the other side halfway through the cooking (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. Add 2 tbsp of sesame oil to the chicken and sauce.
  5. Reduce heat to low or medium-low (whichever keeps a consistent simmer going), cover and cook until chicken has cooked through.  It should be about 20-30 minutes.
  6. When chicken is done, add the cornstarch mixed with water and stir into sauce.  Let bubble for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened.
  7. When the sauce is thick, turn off the heat and serve.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds or chopped scallions and serve with steamed rice and sesame green beans.

Notes

For juicy and tender chicken breasts, try to brine your chicken overnight to prevent them from drying out in the cooking process.  I use 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of sea salt with 2-3 cups of water (mixture should taste like a salty soup), mix it all together and let the breasts soak overnight in the solution.   If you choose not to brine, that is fine.  You just need to be vigilant in the cooking process so that your breasts are not overcooked making them dry and chewy.  To help prevent this, use a meat thermometer.   Chicken is safe at 165F/75C.

  • Category: Chicken, Main
  • Method: simmering
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Chicken, Asian, Pineapple, soy sauce

Asian-inspired chicken recipes to cook:

Thai Inspired Lemongrass Chicken Stir-fry

Curry Laksa with Chicken, Fish Balls and Tofu Puffs

Authentic Kung Pao Chicken (Foreigner Style)

 

 

Author: Natasha

I'm just a busy expat mom who has a psychological need to feed people. I enjoy learning about new cultures, (especially the food) and enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and spices

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