The sweet, sour, spicy and savoury combination of this dish will certainly let you ask for more! Pineapple Chicken, a simple dish for pan seared chicken and pineapples cooked in pineapple juice reduction infused with chillies, fish sauce and other aromatics.
Browning things in a pan like fruits, vegetables and meat adds a lot of oomph when used in a dish, same thing goes with grilling. The natural sugar that caramelises in these ingredients add that special sweet charred taste that you won’t get without preparing it like such. I don’t know for most, but then I usually cook meats in a dish like stews, soups or casseroles, the first thing I do is to pan sear them in a pan over very high heat or what the culinary world calls it as Maillard reaction. This chemical reaction that between amino acids and reducing sugars gives that the dish a good depth of flavour, amazing aroma and at the same time adds a nice colour.
Maillard reaction is the same reason why those well-made steaks tastes great but you can apply the same principle in most dishes like our recipe for today, the Pineapple Chicken. In this dish we seared the chicken as well as the pineapples where it is cooked in a reduction of pineapple juice infused with chillies and fish sauce giving it a really nice sweet, sour, savoury and spicy taste.
Heat up a heavy skillet in high heat, add small amount of oil and once it starts to smoke, pan sear chicken thighs on both sides until brown. Remove chicken from skillet then set it aside.
Using the same skillet still in high heat, pan sear pineapples until lightly browned and caramelised on both sides. Remove pineapples from skillet then set it aside.
In the same skillet add oil if needed, lower the heat to medium low then sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant.
Add chillies then stir fry for a few seconds.
Pour reserved liquid and add pineapple juice, bring heat to medium high then let it boil, once boiling add the browned chicken then owner the heat to low. Cover the skillet then cook chicken for 20 minutes.
Bring heat to high to reduce the liquid to a third of its volume, season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper.
Add pineapple slices on top, garnish with coriander then turn the heat off. Serve on skillet while hot.