When my husband and I first got married about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t a bad cook. I grew up cooking and baking a lot at home with my family, and living on my own for two years post-college gave me time to experiment with new recipes and figure out things in a grown-up kitchen. Problem was, I married a meat-lover and so in the early days of our marriage, I quickly realized I needed to expand my cooking repertoire to make Ben happy. Because I did want to make him happy… and I still do. 🙂
That first summer of marriage, I wasn’t yet working or in school so I had a lot of spare time [after all the wedding gifts were unpacked, I was settled into our new apartment, thank you notes written, etc.]. One day, I was flipping through one of my new cookbooks looking for some recipes I could try out. I knew Ben liked meat and Asian food, and when I saw the recipe for Hawaiian Baked Chicken, I was sold. It wasn’t exactly Chinese food, but it had a bit of Asian undertones, if only in the fact that it was chicken and veggies with a sauce served with rice. We didn’t have all the ingredients, but I improvised and by the time Ben arrived home that night, had dinner prepared.
This sweet and savory chicken dinner was a winner and was quickly proclaimed a keeper. There’s some mustard and spice for a savory, tangy kick, and honey and pineapple for sweetness. Served atop a bed of rice, this will make any hungry man happy. Now, it was what I make for my husband when I know he’s had a hard week or to celebrate an accomplishment at work. I like to make it for him when we haven’t had it in awhile just so he knows I remember how much he enjoyed it. I look forward to making it for my Ben in the years to come, so we can be in our 60s and look back to remember our early days of marriage in our tiny apartment in Bloomington, Indiana.
Hawaiian Chicken [from The Taste of Home Cookbook]
- 1 pound raw chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
- 16 ounces pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, undrained
- 1 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- cooked rice prepared with chicken broth instead of water
- cooking spray
Grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and then place chicken in dish. Pour green pepper and pineapple [and its juice] over chicken. In a large measuring cup, whisk together chicken broth, mustard, honey, olive oil, and paprika. Pour mixture over chicken and pineapple, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours for best results. Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice.
I’ve also used Dijon mustard and chili powder in lieu of brown mustard and paprika with excellent results. I’ve also added carrots before, but would recommend very small pieces so they cook and/or pre-cooking the carrots prior to baking. Also, this dish doesn’t have to marinate over a long period of time but it does get more flavorful the longer it sits. I like to prepare this the night before or morning of, but do what works best for you.
Click here for the printable version: Hawaiian Chicken
Question of the Day: What dish do you like to make for a special person in your life?