Sunday, April 3, 2011

A weeknight dish for busy folks:
Pineapple Chicken Bake

Because I love to cook and have a variety of foods in my diet, I make it a priority to try new recipes often (this blog wouldn’t exist otherwise).
   But very few recipes I try require a lot of effort and time.
   I have a full-time day job in addition to blogging, and so I appreciate a good quick-to-make dish on weeknights as much as the next busy person.
   Pineapple Chicken Bake (click for the recipe) from America’s Test Kitchen was a recent recipe my husband and I made that was astoundingly quick and easy to make and produced very good results.
   The curry powder and pineapple chunks were a terrific combination, with the powder adding a bit of heat and the pineapple some sweetness. The almonds on top provided a perfect crunch.
   We served the chicken with jasmine rice, an ideal side dish to soak up some of the sweet sauce.
   While the base of the dish is chicken, a food that is often family friendly, I wouldn’t necessarily put Pinepple Chicken Bake in the family-friendly category.
   It may be a little too weird for the taste buds of youngsters, especially with the curry powder.
   We used the suggested two teaspoons of curry powder in the recipe, and it was mild, and I found it just a wee bit too hot. The curry powder can easily be cut back, however, as can the Tabasco sauce.
   The recipe I linked to above on a blog is nearly exactly the same as the one we used from the The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, with one small exception: The blogger says to bake the chicken until it is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
   The recipe we used says to bake the dish 15 to 18 minutes, or until the chicken registers 160 F on an instant-read food thermometer. We found this took about 18 minutes.
   To make the dish, four boneless, skinless chicken breasts are patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper and put in a 9x13 inch baking dish (we used a glass baking dish).
   Pineapple juice from the cans of pineapple, honey, cider vinegar (also called apple cider vinegar), curry powder and Tabasco sauce are simmered over medium heat until thickened.
   Cornstarch is dissolved into water and then whisked into the honey mixture, and pineapple chunks are stirred in.
   The pineapple sauce is poured over the chicken, which is in turn sprinkled with sliced almonds.
   The dish is baked on an oven rack that has been adjusted to the top position.

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook on

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