In Episode 041 we are making grilled pineapple chicken for dinner. Taryn shares this easy grilling recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight. With a quick marinade that’s both sweet and a little savory, this meal has great flavor that your family will love.
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These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
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Taryn Solie: Hello grillers! We’re kicking off Season 2 of the podcast! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration. I will go over one recipe in detail from my recipe website, Hot Pan Kitchen, as well as some serving suggestions to make it a complete meal. The goal is to give you complete directions and helpful tips so you can make this dinner for your loved ones.
In today’s episode we’re going to make grilled pineapple chicken thighs. This recipe is great because it uses a quick marinade that still imparts some delicious flavor. And it uses my favorite cut of chicken for grilling – boneless skinless chicken thighs. I love grilling these because they cook quickly but they don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts due to the higher internal fat content. They’re tender and delicious on their own, but even more so with the marinade.
This is a great recipe for any time of year, but especially in spring and fall where the fresh fruits and veggies either aren’t quite ready yet or are going out of season because it uses canned pineapple. And it uses both the pineapple itself and the pineapple juice that comes with it for the marinade.
To start off let’s go over the ingredients. You’ll need:
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, which is about 4-5 thighs. You want them thawed, not frozen
- ¼ c coconut aminos
- 15 oz canned pineapple rings
- 3 tbsp pineapple juice, from the canned pineapple
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp oil – I like to use a mild high heat oil like avocado oil
- ½ heaping tsp kosher salt – I like to use Diamond Crystal, and I’ll tell you why in a minute
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- and green onion for garnish, if that’s something that you like.
A couple of tips for this recipe. First, my note for kosher salt: I like Diamond Crystal brand as it’s less salty by weight than other salts, which leaves a little more room for error when you’re salting your dishes. If you have a different brand of kosher salt I would use a little less salt, like a scant ½ teaspoon, which means it’s not quite filled to the top of the measuring spoon. Or if you’re using table salt I would use ¼ teaspoon.
Now a tip about garlic: if you have a hard time peeling garlic you can smash the cloves to help the skin come off more easily. I actually like to take my garlic press, turn it on its side and give each clove a wack or two on a cutting board. This breaks the clove up a bit and helps the skin come off really easily. If you don’t have a garlic press you could do something similar with a large knife where you turn it on its side and place the garlic cloves underneath, then kind of press the palm of your hand down on the knife to break the cloves up. It has the same effect.
The last tip for this recipe, and this goes for grilling any meat, is you want to cook to temperature. I’m going to mention cooking time as I walk through the recipe, but really you want to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of about 165 degrees F. To do this you will need a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, there are a lot of options out there. I have some recommendations at different price points that I’ll link on the show notes page for this episode.
To make this recipe, first you’ll want to make the marinade. Open up the canned pineapple and pour out 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice into a large bowl. Set the rest of the can aside, then measure out the coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil and place them all in the bowl.
You’ll peel the skin off the garlic cloves, using the trick I mentioned previously, and use a garlic press to squeeze the garlic into the bowl with the rest of the marinade. You could also finely dice the garlic if you don’t have a garlic press. Stir the marinade together then set it aside for a moment.
Now comes the chicken. Remove the chicken thighs from their packaging and, if you want, you can cut off any large clumps of fat with a sharp knife. Place the chicken thighs in the bowl and mix them up with the marinade until they’re well covered. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap, or a lid if you have one, and place it in the fridge for 45 minutes. Be sure and wash your hands afterward because you definitely do not want raw chicken juice all over your counters!
After the 45 minutes are up, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter to come up in temperature for about 15 minutes. During that time, fire up your outdoor grill to about 350 degrees F or medium heat. I tend to use my Weber gas grill for this recipe, but you could also a pellet grill, like a Traeger, or charcoal grill.
Now it’s time to prep the pineapple. Remove the rings from the can, placing them in a medium bowl or other dish – I actually like to use a 9 by 13 casserole dish for this because it’s nice and flat. Dab the pineapple rings with paper towels to remove any excess moisture then pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over them, using your fingers to make sure the rings are coated well.
Once the grill is at temperature place the pineapple on the grill first with a pair of tongs, then place the chicken thighs on the grill. You shouldn’t need to oil the grill since both the chicken and the pineapple have oil on them, but you can if you want to. Close the lid and cook for about 3 minutes, then open the lid and flip the pineapple slices over. Close the lid again and cook for another 2 minutes.
Open the lid again and use some tongs to remove the pineapple from the grill onto a platter – or you can also use that 9 by 13 inch casserole dish that you oiled the pineapple in, you just need to wipe the oil out of it. Flip the chicken thighs at this point and close the lid again, cooking for about another 4 minutes.
Once those 4 minutes are up, open the lid and check the temperature of each chicken thigh with a meat thermometer. Like I mentioned before, you want to remove them from the grill once they hit an internal temperature of about 165 degrees F. Do keep in mind smaller chicken thighs will be done sooner than larger ones.
If you want to use some green onions as a garnish you can easily chop them up while the chicken is grilling then sprinkle them on top of the chicken and serve it together with the pineapple rings.
Some side options to go with this recipe are rice – this is what my family usually eats with this dish. You could also do cauliflower rice if that’s more your thing. You could grill up some veggies to go with it, like bell peppers or onions. Grilled onions would be really good because they get soft and sweet on the grill and would go well with the pineapple. Or you could just add something simple like some sliced avocado.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for this grilled pineapple chicken, as well as the other recipes I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.
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