Pineapple Sesame Chicken is a little sweet and a little sour. It’s prepared with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pineapples and pineapple juice. Finished with toasted sesame seeds and green onions, this dish is completely delicious!
We spend way too much money on take out food. It’s true and it’s shameful. How many times have I expressed my love of cooking? Yet, most days, it’s just easier to order Uber Eats! But, do you know what, Dear Reader? Uber Eats is not available in the country!
When we decided to buy a house in the boonies, we didn’t really consider everything thoroughly. Obviously, we didn’t put much thought into the fact that food delivery would be out of the question. But, there were other things we didn’t think of either.
The fact that the closest grocery store in a neighbouring town at 6 pm every day, for example. Not just the grocery store; everything closes early. And some things, like the post office, closes for lunch. We are certainly not used to that in the city.
Do you know what else I never thought of? Birds, butterflies, and frogs. Now, mind you, the first time I saw a frog was yesterday. But, there are enough butterflies and birds here to carry one away! I’m terrified of them, but that’s a story for another time. Let’s get back to the chicken!
WHICH CHOICE OF CHICKEN WORKS BEST?
For this Pineapple Sesame Chicken recipe, I would highly recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I love working with chicken thighs. Not matter what cooking method I throw at them, they always come out tender and moist. I’m also a fan of dark meat. I think it’s more flavourful. So, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the way to go in my opinion.
You can certainly use breast meat for this recipe too. Because breast meat tends to cook faster than dark meat, you’ll want to ensure that the breast meat is cut into one inch chunks.
Breast meat can dry out rather quickly, especially if you’re planning to immerse it into hot oil. Using a larger piece of the breast meat will ensure that it doesn’t become over done and too dry. There’s nothing worse than dry breast meat!
Unlike chicken breast, you can cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into smaller pieces. They don’t have to be perfectly even. My rule of thumb is as follows. Fry the thigh meat until golden brown. It’s really that simple.
The pineapple sauce that the fried chicken is tossed in is very delicious. It’s thick and sweet and sour at all the same time. You’re going to love it. And, it’s so easy to prepare too!
It all starts with pineapple juice. You might be tempted to buy a can of pineapple chunks or tidbits and get the pineapple juice from there. And you, can, but you will need more of it. You will need a total of one cup of pineapple juice and you will not get that from just one fourteen ounce can of pineapples. So, buy a small jar of real pineapple juice or buy two cans of pineapple chunks or tidbits to get the full cup.
So, once you add the pineapple juice to the skillet, it’s just a matter of adding in the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and the cornstarch mixture to thicken. Just measure everything out, dump it in the skillet, and turn on the heat. Let it come to a boil and then add the cornstarch slurry. Whisk and it will thicken rather quickly.
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that the chicken has been fried and the pineapple sauce has been made, it’s time to finish up the recipe. While the sauce is still hot, add in the drained pineapple and stir into the sauce.
Next, add in the fried chicken pieces and toss well to combine with the sauce. Lastly, sprinkle in the sesame seeds and the green onions. Now, it’s all done and ready to serve. I can’t think of anything better to serve Pineapple Sesame Chicken with than a big bowl of rice and my homemade spring rolls. It’s a perfect meal! And, you didn’t need to call Uber Eats at all!
Pineapple Sesame Chicken
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- oil for frying
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablepoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 14 ounces canned pineapple tidbits, drained very well
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2-3 fresh green onions, thinly sliced
- Place the prepared chicken into a large bowl. Pour over the beaten egg and toss well to coat. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Add the chicken mixture to the cornstarch mixture and toss well to coat. It will be sticky and gluey. Do not be tempted to add more cornstarch. Just toss very well. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, add enough oil so that there are two inches of oil in the pan. Preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.
- In the meantime, place all of the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan, with the exception of the cornstarch, water, and pineapple tidbits. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the bubbling sauce mixture and whisk until thickened. Lower heat to simmer and move on to the chicken.
- Check to see if the oil is hot enough. If so, add the chicken one piece at a time to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Fry the pieces in batches until golden brown – about 3-4 minutes.
- Once the chicken is fried, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the pineapple tidbits to the sauce and turn the heat up to medium. Stir until the sauce comes to a low boil again.
- Next, add in the chicken and toss to combine. Plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Serve immediately.