Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chicken & Pineapple Teriyaki

Chicken teriyaki is a dinner that seems easy enough to make (it's just rice, chicken, and sauce), but for the longest time I couldn't get it right. The sauce makes such a difference with this meal, and it's hard finding a good bottled teriyaki sauce. Well, I'm thrilled to now have a recipe to make this exactly how I like it!

I found a teriyaki sauce recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated magazine I had laying around. I kept not making it because I didn't have one of the ingredients (mirin, a sweet cooking wine)... but once I found that (at Safeway), I have made & enjoyed this recipe several times!

You could serve this several ways. How I made it tonight was with baked brown rice, and sauteed pineapple and chicken. You could definitely grill the pineapple and chicken instead, omit the pineapple if you don't like it, or add other ingredients (like diced red bell pepper). This makes enough sauce for my family (2 adults & 3 kids), but you could certainly double the sauce if you wanted more. Enjoy!

Chicken & Pineapple Teriyaki
Printable version here

1 tbsp. canola oil
Pineapple chunks (half a fresh pineapple, diced, or one large can, drained)
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cooked rice

Sauce ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1 tbsp. mirin
1/4 tsp. cornstarch

1. Prepare baked brown rice (if using). Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan. In a separate small bowl, combine mirin and cornstarch, then pour that into the saucepan. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer and cook until it begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, pour in the pineapple chunks. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. You're trying to heat the pineapple and bring out some of its natural juices. Remove to a bowl, and cover with foil.

3. Pour a little more oil in the pan if it seems dry, then add the cubed chicken breasts. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. Add the cooked pineapple and a spoonful of the teriyaki sauce and stir to combine.

4. Put rice on the plates, top with chicken/pineapple mixture, then drizzle teriyaki sauce over the top. Serve extra sauce on the side, if desired.

Why I love it? It's my favorite teriyaki sauce ever! It's not too sweet or too salty. Plus you know it's fresh, and you can make exactly the amount you need! I just love the pineapple in it, too. It adds a sweet, juicy flavor.

Plus, this is a very healthy dish! It has protein, fiber, good carbs, vitamin C (pineapple), and is very low in fat! You can't buy chicken teriyaki that's this yummy & good for you!

*One last thing- if you aren't up for making the sauce yourself, my recommendation for bottled sauce is this kind. It also scored decently in Cook's Illustrated taste tests. I got mine at WinCo.

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