It's the most wonderful time of the year! Pineapple season, that is.
I've been seeing an influx of these funky-looking fruits at the grocery store lately, and I just can't resist tossing one in my cart every time I pass by their display. Slicing into a fresh, juicy pineapple and seeing its golden interior makes me forget just for a second that I am in the midst of a Michigan January where the days are short and forecasted high for the week is likely in the teens. And while I do love my winter comfort foods, this fresh tropical fruit is a nice break from the usual heavier foods I associate with the season.
My very favorite thing to do with pineapple as of late is this Chipotle Chicken Pineapple Bake. It's a one-dish meal that's quick, easy, and can be consumed in a variety of different ways - Serve it over a bed of rice for a delicious rice bowl or roll it up in tortillas for fajitas. The spicy chipotle chicken with the sweet, carmelized pineapple and slightly-charred pepper and onion will most likely make you want to try this on everything. And the leftovers make for a mean lunch the next day.
So, here's how to make it:
Begin by placing the chipotle peppers, garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, honey, Dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small blender. Blend until pureed. Pour the mixture over your sliced chicken and place in the refrigerator to marinate while you get all the other ingredients ready. Since the chicken is sliced, it will marinate really quickly! Thank goodness, because having the foresight to marinate meat say, 24 hours before you're going to eat it is just not in line with my cravings or my forgetfulness.
As a side note, ever noticed how recipes that use chipotle peppers in adobo only call for 1 or maybe 2 peppers, but they are sold in 10 ounce jars? For fear of burning my tastebuds off by eating this quantity of chipotle peppers before they went bad, I started freezing them in ice cube trays and storing them in the freezer for later use. I pack 1 chipotle pepper along with a spoonful of liquid per cube. Once they are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag. Each cube is roughly 1 Tablespoon chipotles in adobo. Whenever I need to use one, I grab it out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for a quick 10 seconds, and go about my business.
If you've never used chipotles in adobo before, you can find them in the international section of your grocery store. Be warned that they are super spicy! If at any point while working with them you get a little bit of the adobo liquid on your finger and think to yourself, "I'll just have a little lick to see what it's like," DON'T. (I did). You will probably cry. (I did). Mind over matter, folks, mind over matter.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and slice your onion and your bell peppers and chop up your pineapple. Drain any excess liquid from the pineapple as this will inhibit carmelization while roasting and will also make your veggies soggy. Place the pineapple, peppers, and onion on a baking sheet along with the sliced chicken and any excess marinade. Toss to combine. Pop the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Serve on rice or tortillas, or eat all on its own! My favorite toppings are sour cream and sliced green onions. Husband is convinced this would be good with black beans.
Chipotle Chicken Pineapple Bake
A quick, easy, one-dish meal delicious over rice, on tortillas, or on its own
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
- 2 chipotles in adobo with liquid
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 pineapple, chopped (about 4 cups) and drained
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the chipotles, garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, honey, Dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender and puree. Pour mixture over the sliced chicken and set aside to marinate in the fridge for up to an hour.
- Combine the chicken, sliced bell pepper and onion, and the pineapple on a baking sheet. Toss to combine.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Depending on how ripe your pineapple is, it may become too juicy while cooking. If you notice excess liquid in the sheet pan halfway through baking, pour some off. Too much liquid will inhibit carmelization and make your veggies soggy!
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