Hawaiian Chicken with Grilled Pineapple


I was talking recipes with Chouree’ Counts, one of my childhood friends, recently. I was telling her that I had been soaking chicken in a mixture of equal parts buttermilk and water before grilling to get the chicken to stay moist and tender. Chouree’ told me she used pineapple juice to marinate chicken. 

Pineapple contains a natural tenderizer called papain. Unlike other marinades, the great thing about using pineapple juice is you can marinate chicken up to two days before grilling without it affecting the texture. The pineapple juice gives the chicken a slight sweetness offset by the chicken rub and BBQ sauce. Her advice was the inspiration for this recipe. 

Hawaiian Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
8 chicken breasts
46 ounces (1/2 can) pineapple juice (I used Dole, not from concentrate)
2 tablespoons soy sauce.
Chicken Rub (recipe below) or your favorite BBQ rub
Your favorite BBQ sauce
1 fresh pineapple

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise to equal 16 strips.  Place in a zip-top gallon bag. Add pineapple juice and soy sauce. Squeeze bag to coat chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate up to 2 days. 

Trim ends and skin on all sides of pineapple. Cut into slices. 

Remove chicken from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling. Discard marinade. Dry chicken with paper towels. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon chicken rub. Heat grill to high heat. Sear chicken on both sides then reduce grill heat to low. Baste chicken with barbeque sauce 10 minutes before removing from grill. Chicken is done when internal temperature is 165ºF. Grill pineapple slices. Serve chicken with grilled pineapple. Makes 16 pieces of chicken. Enjoy!

Chicken Rub

2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Use 1/2 teaspoon Chicken Rub per 1 piece of chicken.

Published in the News and Neighbor on August 3, 2022.  

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