Polynesian Pineapple Chicken

Polynesian Pineapple Chicken

It's Summer and for me that conjures images of tropical islands, white sandy beaches, freshly cut, glisteningly ripe tropical fruits, carnivals belting out musical vibes with people enjoying themselves, cocktails in my favourite tiki bar and spending time with friends eating delicious grilled and barbecued foods, Some of which is occasionally burnt. Ha!

This vibrant, fruity and flavour packed dish, is salty, sweet, spicy and sticky and with your first bite you'll feel the carnival in your mouth, it'll have your taste buds dancing and you reaching for a sip of that cocktail dreaming of your next holiday.

Polynesian Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30/35mins
Serves: 1
Skill level: 2


Pineapple Chicken

1 Chicken breast butterfly ,see tips for butterfly technique.
1 x 10ml thin slices of fresh ripe pineapple
100ml pineapple juice, fresh juice or shop bought
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp honey
3 garlic cloves grated
1⁄2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to season
1 tsp olive or vegetable oil, extra if frying
Coconut Rice
128g basmati or jasmine rice
Coconut milk
Salt to season


1: Use a skillet, frying pan or grill to cook your chicken and pineapple. I’ve used a barbecue to give the dish that extra smoky flavour, but I will leave that up to us as it will take extra time to set up.

Grilled Pineapple

1. Take a 10ml thick slice from your pineapple, grill on medium to high on both sides for 5 minutes until soft and slightly charred, wrap in foil and set aside.

2. Juice the rest of your pineapple to use in the glaze if you can or use shop bought juice as you can be sure of its sweetness.

Coconut Rice

3 .Using a rice cooker or stove follow the manufacturer and packet instructions. The ratio 1:2 of rice and water is the rule of thumb, One cup rice two cups water. Substitute half the amount of water needed to cook the rice with coconut milk. Let that do its thing and get your glaze and chicken on the go.

The Chicken

4. Clean and butterfly your chicken breast, place in a mixing bowl add oil, paprika salt, pepper, garlic, massage into the chicken and set aside for 5 mins so you can get you glaze going.

The Chicken Glaze

5. In a pan add pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, honey and lime on a high heat bring to a rolling boil for 5 mins, then lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 mins to reduce into a semi thick liquid and remove from the heat. As it cools it will thicken creating a perfect sweet and salty glaze for the chicken. When you get it on a low simmer you can jump back to the chicken to get that part started but keep an eye on the glaze while it simmers and stir from time to time.

Back to the Chicken

6. While the glaze is going, cook your chicken as you wish. Being butterfly it'll cook quickly and more evenly, 15/20 mins give or take, so if using barbecue be sure to keep an eye on it we don't want burnt chicken!

7. Flip it halfway, don't overcook it, you want it firm but succulent.

8. Check to see it is cooked through (white meat no pink) if a little pink it's ok as you will be basting and resting adding further cooking.

9. Place in a large frying pan along with the glaze and the pineapple slice and on a low heat baste in the glaze for 10 mins.

10. By now your rice should be cooked smelling great, looking fluffy and everything ready to plate up. Place your chicken on a bed of rice, garnished with your glazed pineapple and enjoy immediately!

I had a salsa i made previously consisting of spring onions, coriander, red chilli and some extras i added to garnish along with homegrown nasturtium flower to give it that full on Tiki-licious vibe.

Tips: Butterflying chicken breast - Place your chicken breast on a chopping board with your hand flat on top, use a sharp knife to carefully slice the side of the breast thick end to the thin point, do not cut all the way through to the other side. Open up the breast so that it resembles a butterfly, cover with cling film and even out by lightly pummelling with a rolling pin and you have your butterfly ready to be cooked.


A Coconut rum would go with this dish, enhancing the flavours perfectly, any pineapple or coconut heavy cocktail will do the trick also.

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David Scotland

Ever since I was a child I have felt at home in the kitchen it has been an important part of my life and is an important part of Caribbean family life's. For generations and for people from all corners of the world it is a source of socialising and bonding with family and friends, It is never just about great flavour and food though but also great memories, music, friendship, love, laughter and culture... it all gets cooked up.

You don't need to be the best cook in the world to feel good in the kitchen. I've created and used recipes and ingredients that are accessible enough you can re-create them at home with minimal fuss and maximum flavour whilst creating your own memories as you do.

David Scotland