Polynesian Pineapple Chicken and Peppers
This is an easy, flavorful chicken dish that comes together really quickly. Similar to sweet and sour chicken, it combines bite-sized pieces of boneless chicken, crisp-tender chunks of red and green bell pepper, onion, garlic and pineapple in a sweet and tangy sauce that's perfect to serve on a bed of ramen noodles. Round out the meal with a simple side like sautéed snap peas, roasted green beans or a cucumber salad.
- 1 to 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenders
- 2-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
- 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 packages ramen noodles (see notes)
Put a pot of water on to boil for the ramen (see notes).
Trim any tendons from the ends of the chicken tenderloins, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces and place in a small bowl. Combine 1-1/2 tablespoons of the soy sauce with the cornstarch and stir until blended. Pour the mixture over the chicken, toss to coat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, tomato paste, honey and rice vinegar. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until light golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper, green pepper and jalapeño. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the peppers are barely tender, 3 minutes longer.
Return the chicken to the pan, add the pineapple (with the juice) and tomato paste mixture. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Cook the ramen (with or without the flavor packets - see notes) until tender. Drain and toss with the 1 remaining tablespoon of oil.
To serve, plate a portion of ramen, then top with the chicken mixture.
Makes 4 servings
We generally opt to discard the flavor packets from the ramen noodles and salt our cooking water instead. If you prefer to use the flavoring, add one packet to the boiling water and dissolve completely prior to adding the noodles.