Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 5: Island Bird: Pineapple-Rum Chicken

1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, any brand
1 whole pineapple, cored and peeled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
   Coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan's
2 cups chicken stock or broth
4 6-ounce chicken breast halves
   Coarse black pepper
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Cook the rice according to the package directions. While it cooks, make the chicken and sauce.

Cut the pineapple into bite-size chunks.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, once around the pan. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the pineapple chunks and the juice from the container, no more than 1/2 cup, and stir to combine.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the spiced rum. Return the pan to the heat, keeping a little distance in case the pot flames up. You can flame it on purpose, if you want to look cool. Either way, let the alcohol cook away, 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook until it reduces by half and has thickened slightly.

While the sauce is simmering, preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 6 minutes on each side. For a smoky taste, grill the chicken on a grill pan or on an outdoor grill.

Slice the breasts and return to the large skillet. Pour in the pineapple and sauce and combine with a good shake of the pan.

Add the parsley and cilantro to the pan and turn off the heat. Let stand for a minute or two. Serve up the jasmine rice and top with liberal ladles of the Island Bird.


This chicken recipe is really good, and I think I might be over my pregnancy chicken aversion. I'm a little disappointed because I chopped up the cilantro and then forgot to put it on the food, and I'm sure it would have added a lot to the dish. I used real rum instead of rum flavoring, but I couldn't taste it in the final product, so I might just use the flavoring next time. That's what I used last time and I could definitely taste the rum flavor. I didn't change the recipe, but I would have made my chicken breasts smaller by filleting them. They just took too long to get done all the way through.

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