If you’re looking for a simple, fun way to spice up a week day dinner, this recipe is for you!
I had a ton of fun making this dinner. My cousin and I are on Maternity Leave together, so we promised each other we would pick up a hobby to master while enjoying some time at home with the family before returning to our work lives. We decided healthy cooking would be a great way to regain our focus on health, after nine months of pregnancy.
We stumbled across these fancy looking Pineapple Boats and thought it was worth a shot. Seriously, one of the easiest dinners I’ve ever made. Clearing out the pineapples was the most difficult part (which you could always nix and serve in a regular bowl – but it definitely would be lacking the fun factor). Read below to learn the easy steps to make a quick, awesome looking dinner.
These Pineapple Boats can be made in about 30 minutes (including time to hollow out the pineapples) with minimal clean up – always a plus in my book!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2x Large Pineapples – Half of the skin will be used as the serving bowl, the insides will be mixed in with the chicken
- 2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (Thighs are often more tender, but breasts can also be used)
- 2 C Jasmine Rice (or a different kind of your choice – quinoa would work as well)
- 1/2 C Pineapple Juice
- 1/3 C Soy Sauce
- 1/3 C Chicken Broth
- 1/3 C Hoisin Sauce
- 1/2 C Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
- 2 Tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 C Crushed Cashews (optional)
- Sprinkle Sesame Seeds
Step 2: Make the Boats!
As I mentioned earlier, this is the hardest part of the entire recipe… and it’s not that difficult. You could opt out and serve in a bowl for a quicker dinner, but a few extra minutes can really wow your family (and guests). Make sure you’ve got ripe pineapples, or cutting into these could be a challenge.
Cut the pineapples in half from top to bottom (see image above). Take a sharp knife and cut along both sides of the core, then along the edges. Take caution to not cut too deeply as you could puncture through to the other side. Cut the pineapple in cubes, from the core to the edge, so you don’t need to re-cut it before you add to the chicken. Take a spoon and simply scoop out each cube into a separate bowl. Then, cut out the core so the entire pineapple is hollowed out.
Set these aside while you cook the rice, chicken and sauce.
Step 3: Start the Rice
If you’re like me, rice is a staple in most meals and owning a family sized rice cooker is essential. I usually estimate about 1/2 C of uncooked rice for each person, so for a recipe that serves 4, use 2 cups of rice. The rule of thumb when cooking rice is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. You can use a cooker or go stove top. Whatever your preference, get the rice cooking while you prepare the chicken and sauce.
Step 4: Cook the Chicken
Cut the chicken into bite size cubes. Not only does this help cook more evenly, the pieces will fit much better into your pineapple boats. Use the olive oil and pour into the pan with your chicken. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Stir often and cook thoroughly, until there is no more pink.
Step 5: Make the Sauce
While your chicken is cooking, you can get the sauce ready. In a saucepan, mix the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken broth, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic and cornstarch. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook until it has the viscosity of a thick syrup.
Step 6: Combine
Once the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened, drain any liquids that remain with the chicken. Add your sauce mixture to the pan, stir. Then add the pineapple chunks and cashews (if desired), stir.
Step 7: Serve!
You’re ready to dish up! Scoop the fully cooked rice into half of the pineapple boat. Add the pineapple chicken to the other half. Sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds for a little extra flair.
Watch your family’s faces as they are amazed with your top notch cooking skills (even though it is a super simple recipe – they don’t need to know that!)
Even my three year old thought the pineapple boats were super cool and ate her entire dinner, which never happens 🙂
– Mama of Roses –