Saturday, April 20, 2013

Savory Pineapple Chicken

I needed fresh stock so it was time for chicken.  In the fridge was half a can of pineapple chunks that I wanted to use up so I thought pineapple chicken but not sweet and sour. I set to boning the breasts, putting the bones in the stock pot and the skins frying up for the dogs. Pineapple chicken just screams rice to me so that's what I made. Carrots and frozen peas both done in the microwave fill out the plate.

The chicken I seasoned with salt, paprika and ground mixed peppercorns.  Then I coated them with some flour and put in hot oil. I got a little sear on one side then turned the breasts over and put them in a 375ºF oven for 25 minutes total cooking time.

To make the sauce I put a tablespoon of oil in a small pot and a teaspoon of flour in it.  Mix and cook the flour taste off for a minute or two. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup juice from the can of pineapple chunks. Reserve the chunks for a minute or two before serving so they heat up but don't cook. I tasted the sauce. It had good savory flavor from the stock and a nice overlay of pineapple.  It worked quite nicely but it needed a little acid to perk it up a bit.  I reached for rice vinegar first but thought about using lemon juice instead.  Will lemon flavor clash with pineapple or will they enhance each other? I couldn't think of a dish with lemon and pineapple so chances are good they don't play well.  I just had to find out.  

I put a few drops of lemon juice in the sauce.  I got the slight tang I was after but the lemon was fighting with the pineapple. Fortunately I didn't use enough to ruin it.  A few more drops and the sauce would have been awful but as it was, Fern liked it. I like it too, the savory flavor from the stock was really nice with the pineapple. The sauce had a little tang and just a hint of incongruous lemon. We'll have this again, with rice vinegar instead of lemon.

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