What I cook is very often determined by what’s in the pantry/fridge. This is especially true when I’m in St. Lucia. Provisioning is just that bit more difficult here, but as with most things in life, if its harder to come by then you value it more. Its not uncommon here to call a friend and tell them if some basic product is now back in the stores, or that you have made an incredible fresh fruit or veg discovery at a road side vendor. I think all this is closely linked to necessity being the mother of invention. So I start with what I have and then think how to best turn it into something delicious and healthy, so here’s to introducing this new and delicous pineapple chicken dish.
The mother of my boyfriend when I was 15 used to leave the juice of the pineapple on her hands for as long as possible after having cut it as she believed it was really good for her skin. By contrast my friend Emma doesn’t like pineapple at all. What I’m saying here is that pineapple obviously is something people feel strongly about. Also, Chester, the son of Olita, of banana fritter fame, had “pineapple” as his first word….go figure.
This Pineapple Chicken Recipe Serves 4 generously
3 or 4 chicken breasts cut into chunks
150g fresh pineapple peeled and cut into chunks
1 green chilli deseeded
20g grated fresh ginger peeled roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp honey
knob of butter for frying off the pineapple chunks for garnish
If you have bought a lovely fresh pineapple, then please reserve a few bits for the garnish.
Place all the ingredients with the exception of the chicken in the food processor and blitz until the marinade is smooth. Slather this over your eagerly waiting chicken and leave to marinate for at least an hour. Don’t leave it more than that as the acidity of the pineapple starts to break down the chicken and its not so nice. You could if you wanted, leave the chicken breasts whole. If you do, then deeply score the surface to allow the goodness to penetrate. I had planned to barbecue these beauties, but upon checking, the gas cylinder for the bbq was empty…..ah the joys of splitting the year between 2 homes. I’m not complaining, just saying….
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and cook the chicken uncovered for 20 or 30 minutes depending on the thickness you have opted for. Hiking the oven temperature up to “grill” for the last 5 minutes would be a good thing.
While the chicken is cooking, heat up the butter in a small frying pan until sizzling and brown the pieces of pineapple you reserved. They look and taste delicious added in as a garnish.