This is why pineapple is the perfect marinade for chicken

This is why pineapple is the perfect marinade for chicken
Eric Kim uses the fruit in two ways for a quick, tender and flavourful dish

The group of enzymes in fresh pineapple, bromelain, excellently breaks down the connective tissues in thick, fibrous chicken breasts. This brilliant recipe uses pineapple two ways: in a cheerful salsa, and as a marinade that transforms breast meat into something closer to tender dark meat. Don’t let the marinade sit too long, he advises, or the chicken will fall apart during cooking. Fifteen minutes is the sweet spot for a recipe that clocks in, marinade and all, på 30 minutter.

Pineapple-marinated chicken breasts

Serves: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutter


3 packed tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ to ½ tsp ground cayenne

½ tsp black pepper

165g diced fresh pineapple (1.5cm chunks)

40g finely diced red onion

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

2 tbsp finely grated fresh pineapple, including accumulated juices

680g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3.5cm chunks

Cooked white rice, for serving


1. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic powder, ground cayenne and black pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of this marinade mixture to a separate medium bowl and add the diced pineapple, red onion and coriander. This is your salsa; toss until well mixed and set aside.

2. Add the grated pineapple and its juices to the marinade mixture in the large bowl, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutter (and no longer).

3. Once the chicken is done marinating, heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken pieces, leaving any marinade behind, in a single layer so that they don’t touch and let cook until the bottoms are browned, 2 til 3 minutter. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides and no longer pink on the inside, 4 til 5 minutes more.

4. Serve the chicken over rice and top with the reserved pineapple salsa.

© New York Times

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