"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Monday, December 14, 2009

Spicy Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

On a cold weeknight, my boyfriend and I were walking home and not sure what to make for dinner. Naturally, I decided to walk into one of the many grocery stores that trace our path home. The one ingredient that caught my attention and inspired a meal was a small stack of pineapples. It probably caught my attention because it reminds me of Thailand or anywhere hot and tropical which is where I would love to be. I'm not so sure it's the pineapple season, and the frigid wind is definitely starting to pick up, but that's all the more reason to bring a little tropical sensation into our dinner. This dish was surprisingly easy and incredible flavorful. I think that it's better to try and keep the ingredient list short as the sweet pineapple can easily be overpowered with too many spices. Also, while I didn't have any cashews, I think that is the one thing that was really missing from this dish. I used chicken for this dish but pieces of ham or beef would also taste delicious or shrimp! This recipe makes enough filling to refill each pineapple bowl two times. This recipe packs a lot of spice so if you prefer more mild tastes, definitely cut back or omit the Thai chilies. I'll be honest, my sinuses were cleaned out instantly, but the heat is intense.

1 ripe pineapple
1 cup brown basmati rice
5 small chicken breast tenderloins, cut into small pieces
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 red bell pepper, chopped
3 eggs, I used fake eggs
2 small Thai chili peppers
Cayenne pepper
Sriracha sauce
Olive oil

1. Carefully cut the pineapple in half length wise. With a smaller knife cut out a rectangular bowl in the two pineapple halves. Using a spoon, scoop out the pineapple flesh and juice leaving a 1 inch border around the pineapple. Save all the juice and pineapple chunks in a bowl and set aside. Place pineapple halves upside down on a rack to drain.
2. Begin cooking the basmati brown rice according to instructions on the box.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, cook chicken completely, set aside.
4. Add some more olive oil to the pan and saute the carrots, onions and bell peppers.
5. In a separate pan scramble the eggs.
6. Add chicken to the vegetables and add the rice and eggs and Thai chilies. Add the pineapple chunks and saute all together. Add the rice, some of the pineapple juice and a lot of Sriracha sauce. Gently mix until all the ingredients are combined and the Sriracha sauce is evenly distributed. Scoop mixture into the pineapple bowls and begin your feast!

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