Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken)

I’ve always had this fascination about pineapple (pinya in Tagalog), both as a decorative table centerpiece and as an ingredient in many of my favorite dishes. It always brings back memories of my days visiting pineapple plantations in the Southern Philippines and Hawaii.

While it is definitely more convenient to pick up the canned and processed fruit from the supermarket, nothing compares with the excitement and anticipation of peeling and slicing the fresh fruit. I always found delight in watching my mom peel the pineapple, carve it at diagonal angles, slice it and pluck out the “eyes” of the fruit, one at a time. It is not for the impatient!

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breast cut into bite-size cubes

3 small pieces chicken thigh

1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks . Sorry I don’t have my mom’s expertise in peeling and cutting fresh pineapple!

1 Tbsp olive oil

Freshly-ground black peppercorn

5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 medium-sized onions, peeled and cubed

1 cup, coconut milk

1 box (1 ½ oz.) of sun-dried raisins

2 cups green and red bellpeppers, seeds removed, and cut into small cubes

1 medium fresh tomato, cut into 8 slices.

Directions

Marinate the chicken in the juice/syrup from the pineapple can for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a small amount of black peppercorn.

Pour the chicken and juice into a medium-sized pot or wok and cook in high heat  (covered) until the liquid is gone and the chicken is lightly browned. Set aside in a bowl.

In the same pot or wok, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions until golden brown.

Add back the chicken and pour the coconut milk. Add the pineapple chunks. Bring to a quick boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, adding the bellpeppers, tomatoes and raisins. Leave the pot uncovered.

Turn off the heat and let stand for another 2 minutes before serving. Serve with steamed rice.

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