This recipe for making a crave-worthy sticky pineapple chicken has got to be one of the most tender chicken recipes I’ve ever made. Pineapple juice acts as a meat tenderizer, while also ensuring that the chicken is extremely moist and juicy once cooked. You and the family are going to absolutely love this one!
How to Make Pineapple Chicken
You’ll first need to cook the juicy chicken thighs before turning your attention to making the mouthwatering pineapple sauce:
- Prep the chicken thighs. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and then cut the thighs into 1 inch cubes.
- Prepare the cooking skillet. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Cook the chicken. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes (or until no longer pink).
- Remove the chicken. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
- Prepare the pineapple mixture. Add the pineapple juice, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, chopped garlic cloves and brown sugar to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Boil. Pour the pineapple mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil.
- Add the pineapple. Add the pineapple chunks and stir to combine.
- Cook. Cook for a few minutes (or until the sauce has reduced and thickened to your liking).
- Return the chicken to the skillet. Add the chicken thighs back into the skillet and stir to combine.
- (Optional) Add the cashews. Stir in the roasted cashews if using.
- (Optional) Garnish. Top with sliced scallions if using.
- Serve. Serve the pineapple chicken warm.
3 Tips for Making Moist, Tender Chicken
Here are three quick tips for making moist, unbelievably tender chicken when making recipes like this one:
- Use the secret ingredient. Believe it or not, the real secret ingredient in this recipe that causes the chicken to turn out so tender is actually the pineapple. Enzymes like bromelain are proteases, which will break protein down to its foundational blocks, including amino acids. As the proteins and enzymes in the chicken are broken down, it causes the meat to turn out irresistibly tender.
- Soak the chicken. Another option to make your chicken even more tender is to prepare the pineapple sauce first to pre-soak the chicken in. Marinate the chicken like this for 30 minutes or so (don’t soak it any longer or it will break down the enzymes in the chicken too much and turn it mushy) and you’ll end up with chicken so tender that it will literally blow your mind.
- Don’t overcook the chicken. Be careful to not overcook the chicken thighs; about five minutes of cooking time should be plenty to make sure that the thighs are moist and juicy.
Can I Freeze Pineapple Chicken for Meal Preps?
This pineapple chicken meal is a great option for meal prepping ahead of time.
Allow the chicken to cool completely before transferring it into freezer-safe airtight containers. Seal them tightly, label them with the date and freeze.
When you’re ready to reheat, thaw the chicken overnight in the fridge before reheating in the oven at 375℉ until it’s cooked through.
(Also try: Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce)Print
Crave-worthy Sticky Pineapple Chicken
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- ½ cup roasted, salted cashews (optional)
- 2 scallions, sliced (optional)
- Remove the skin form the chicken thighs.
- Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet.
- In a bowl combine the pineapple juice, chicken soup, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic and sugar and whisk well.
- Pour the mixture in a skillet and bring to a boil.
- Add the pineapple and stir to combine.
- Cook for a few minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Add the chicken back to skillet and stir to combine.
- Stir in the cashew nuts.
- Top with scallions (if using) and serve.