If you like exotic, you'll love my Pineapple Chicken recipe! Bite-size pieces of chicken are combined with pineapple and bell pepper in a green curry-coconut sauce. This wonderful mixture is then wrapped up in banana leaf packets (or tin foil/parchment paper packets) and baked in the oven. Serve this pineapple chicken right on the banana leaf for a delectable Thai treat, or add some easy-to-make coconut rice on the side for a taste of tropical bliss. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- Makes 4 banana leaf "packets" (1 serving = 1-2 packets, depending on your appetite!)
- 1 pkg. banana leaves, fresh or frozen (if frozen, allow 1 hour or more to thaw) - OR tin foil / parchment paper
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size peices
- 1 bell pepper, red or green, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 cup pineapple tidbits, canned or fresh (drained if canned)
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- handful of fresh coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup dry shredded baking coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/2 can thick or good quality coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into slivers with scissors (discard any hard stems)
- 1 red or green chili (de-seeded if you prefer a milder dish)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-size piece of galangal (or ginger), grated
- 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (or substitute regular soy sauce - use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, including the stems
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- First, prepare the marinade. Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or mini-chopper and process well.
- In a bowl, mix this marinade with the chicken, bell pepper, and pineapple. Set aside for a few minutes (or up to 8 hours) to let flavors mingle.
- Place baking coconut in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the coconut is toasted (turns a light golden brown). Remove from pan and set aside for later.
- Now take out the banana leaves, or tin foil/parchment paper. If using banana leaves, cut 2 sheets for each packet, about 1 foot square. If using tin foil or parchment paper, simply tear off sheets large enough to envelope individual portions of the pineapple chicken.
- Place one banana leaf sheet on top of the other, then scoop about 1/4 of the chicken-pineapple mixture onto the center of the leaves. Now wrap it up like a square package, folding the sides over the mixture, then folding over both ends. Secure the packets with string or toothpicks (using the toothpicks like straight pins).If using tin foil or parchment paper: Simply wrap up portions (1/3 cup) - turning seam-side down for parchment paper, and seam-side up for tin foil.
- Place these packets on a baking sheet or pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Note: some of the juices may escape the packets, so it's best to use a baking sheet or pan that has "sides" to prevent any spillage.
- When the packets have finished baking, take them out and place them on serving plates (if using tin foil or parchment, you may want to remove the pineapple chicken from the packet and plate it up normally). Open up the banana leaves and place a generous scoop of rice next to the chicken. Now sprinkle with fresh coriander, basil, and finally some of the toasted coconut. Serve immediately and ENJOY!
Tip: Coconut rice makes an excellent accompaniment to this dish! For a simple recipe, see my: Easy Thai Coconut Rice.