Tuck those in with the chicken as well.

Sweet Braised Chicken


The challenge: Make a main course meal to include chicken, pineapple and chouriço.  Accepted. I belong to a super fun foodie group on Facebook and there was recently a “Chopped” type challenge issued by the admin. I love getting creative in the kitchen so decided to enter and take the Asian/Portuguese a.k.a. Hawaiian route.  And although I didn’t win as there were some pretty amazing entries, we were pretty happy around the dinner table eating this sweet and savory and slightly spicy dish!

Being the Portuguese American Mom I decided to add to the challenge by also making sure it was inexpensive  and easy to prepare come dinner.  The way I chose to do that was by first using  chicken thighs which I am pretty sure is the least expensive cut of chicken out there.  If you like chicken legs or breast, go ahead and do that, just be sure the skin is still in tact.  I then made this easy by infusing as much flavor as possible with a make ahead marinade, that way at dinner time it would just be a few minutes of grilling and pop it in the oven.  I even made my rice in the microwave! (fresh rice, from scratch)

All in all the contest was fun and something different to do on a hum drum February week.  I would like to thank Kerry, the admin for “Coastal Foodies”.  And congratulate all the contestants for the willingness to put themselves out there and have fun in the kitchen.  I got new ideas from each and every entry as I am sure many did.  The voting is all over and we are anxiously awaiting the winner!

I’ll take you through each step here.  We can start with the marinade:


This is the chicken. Wash this and trim each piece.

Nestle each piece in the marinade.

This is my Pampered Chef Grill Pan. I have lightly sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray.

The pineapples have had some time to dry out a bit as the chicken has been marinading in the fridge.

Lay out 5-6 pineapple slices on the grill pan. This will leave some pretty grill marks, but it also brings out the sweetness of the pineapple.

Flip to the other side.

Once you have nice grill marks on both sides, remove from pan, but keep pan hot.

Slice chouriço on a bias to create more surface area for grilling.

Place on hot grill and cook all the way through.

Once thoroughly grilled remove and set aside.

Reserve these for plating later.

Start grilling in a grill pan with a rim, skin side down over high heat.

Flip over to cook bottom for a bit before adding in liquid.

Add marinade into the pan.

Bring to a boil and add in ingredients.

Peel and cut garlic in half.

Add in to your pan.

Add white wine to your pan.

You should have 3-4 pineapple rings left in the can, wedge those in with the chicken and vegetables.

Take a few pieces of chourico and do the same.

This is what it looks like after the first 45 minutes.

Flip the chicken for the next 30 minute stint in the oven.

After 30 minutes, remove from oven again to flip chicken one last time to crisp up the top again. Place back in the oven for an additional 45 minutes.

contest entry1


Sweet Braised Chicken

Serves 4-6


5-6 chicken thighs, washed and trimmed

1 16 oz. can sliced pineapple rings, juice reserved

1/2 lb. hot chouriço link, sliced

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 tsp. squeezable basil

1 Tbs. rice vinegar

1 Tbs. Sriracha sauce (optional)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1 onion, sliced

10-12 sweet peppers, halved

1/2 cup white wine

salt and pepper


For the marinade:

Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, reserved pineapple juice from can, basil, vinegar and Sriracha sauce.  Whisk and place chicken in marinade.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

Grill 5-6 pineapple slices on both sides.  Grill chouriço.  Next, grill chicken on both sides until grill marks are formed and skin starts to tighten.  Add marinade into grill pan.  Add wine and garlic.  Bring to a boil, shut off stove.  Add peppers and onions throughout.  Add in a few slices of grilled chouriço and un-grilled pineapple.  Place chicken, skin side up, in a pre-heated 300°F oven for 45 minutes.  Flip chicken, cook an additional 30 minutes.  Flip chicken again and cook an additional 45 minutes.  Serve over white Jasmine rice and top with onions, peppers and pan sauce.

***Gluten-free This dish is completely gluten-free as long as you opt to use a gluten-free soy sauce.

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