Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pineapple and chicken

We’re on a grilling kick at my house, largely because our son, Robert, has been trying new recipes and cooking for us.

Our latest experiment was an adaptation of a recipe I ran across for a grilled chicken sandwich. Robert said it looked like the chicken version of an aloha burger he loves.

So at lunch time one recent Friday, he and I went to the grocery store and got what we needed to make pineapple grilled chicken sandwiches.

I got frustrated right off the bat because my grocery store didn’t have the thin chicken breasts I had wanted to use with this recipe. They are perfect for sandwiches. I ended up buying boneless chicken breasts and pounding them to an appropriate thickness. (If you haven’t done this before, I put the chicken breasts in a gallon zippered bag and pounded them. I don’t have a mallet, so I used a can of vegetables, which I dented.)

I mixed the marinade in just a few minutes and poured it into the bag with the chicken, moving around the contents to make sure the breasts got covered with the thick sauce. The chicken marinated in the refrigerator all afternoon; when I got home from work, I flipped the bag so the marinade could evenly distribute.

Robert cooked the chicken on low heat on the grill, and at the point where he turned the breasts, he added pineapple slices to the grill. We had two for each chicken breast.

The original recipe suggested topping the chicken with Swiss cheese, but I used Provolone instead, along with the grilled pineapple. Instead of sandwich buns, we used multi-grain sandwich thins. Lettuce and tomato are also options.

This sandwich was delicious! The sweetness of the marinade gives the chicken a wonderful flavor, and the added bonus of a pineapple slice makes it even better. The chicken was so juicy that it ended up making a messy sandwich, but that’s OK.

We had leftover chicken, which would be delicious sliced in a salad or served in a sandwich.

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 ounce)
  • 16 canned pineapple slices
  • 8 Sandwich Thins rolls
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
Cover chicken with plastic wrap and flatten with mallet to about 1/2" thickness. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a container and cover with 3 cups of marinade. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 4 hours. Place pineapple slices in another container and add 1 cup of marinade. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 4 hours. Any remaining marinade can be heated on the stove top for 10 minutes over medium heat until thick and used for sauce on sandwich.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Grill over medium heat for 4–6 minutes per side to 165°F. Remove pineapple from marinade, place on grill over medium heat and cook 2-4 minutes on each side. About 1 minute prior to removing the chicken from the grill, place a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each chicken breast and cook until melted.

Brush Sandwich Thins rolls lightly with oil and place cut side down to toast lightly. Spread the glaze that was heated from the remaining marinade on the inside of buns. Place lettuce on bottom halves of buns. Follow with chicken. Top chicken with sliced tomatoes and grilled pineapple. Add bun top and serve.

Sam’s Club

Notes: I varied this recipe, cutting back on the oil and soy sauce and also using the pineapple juice that was in the can of pineapple I bought. We did not have as much marinade, of course, but it was enough. We did not heat the marinade to use as sauce on the chicken; it was plenty juicy without it. And we did not brush the marinade on the pineapple. Also, we turned off the grill without heating the buns, so we warmed them in the toaster.

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