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Chef’s Best: Chicken grill goes Hawaiian; Pineapple brightens, enlivens Caesar salad

  • Hawaiian Barbecued Chicken is served with Pineapple Caesar Salad. (Courtesy Linda Gassenheimer/MCT)
  • Hawaiian Barbecued Chicken is served with Pineapple Caesar Salad. (Courtesy Linda Gassenheimer/MCT)

Grilled chicken with a pineapple-laced barbecue sauce and a tropical Caesar salad combine in this easy-to-serve dinner.

A barbecue sauce with sugar can burn and blacken the food. The secret is to use the sauce as a glaze, painting the food during the last few minutes of cooking. I serve the remaining sauce on the side.

This meal contains 530 calories per serving with 33 percent from fat.

Helpful hints

∎ The chicken can be sauteed instead of grilled. Brown the chicken about 2 minutes per side, lower the heat to medium low, spoon a little sauce on top, cover and cook 5 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 170 degrees.

∎ Hawaiian rolls can be found in most supermarkets. They are a white, slightly sweet roll. Any rolls can be used.

∎ Fresh pineapple cubes can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. Use the juice from the container for the barbecue sauce.

Countdown:

∎ Preheat grill.

∎ Prepare chicken.

∎ Make salad.

Wine: This sweet dish would go wonderfully with an off-dry Riesling.

Hawaiian Barbecued Chicken

2 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup pasta sauce

2 tablespoons pineapple juice (from pineapple cubes)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sugar

Vegetable oil spray

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Hawaiian rolls (1 ounce each)

Place chicken between 2 layers of plastic or parchment paper and flatten with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Mix pasta sauce, pineapple juice, mustard and sugar together to make a sauce. Heat a grill to medium-high and spray the grates with vegetable oil spray. Sear chicken 2 minutes. Turn and sear second side 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste to the cooked side. Move chicken to a cooler area of the grill and spoon 1 tablespoon sauce over each piece. Cover with a lid or, if the grill does not have a cover, place foil over the chicken. Cook 2 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 170 degrees. Cut rolls open and spray with vegetable oil spray. Place on grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove chicken to 2 dinner plates and serve remaining sauce and rolls on the side. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 334 calories (23 percent from fat), 8.4 g fat (1.7 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 109 mg cholesterol, 38.9 g protein, 23.5 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 438 mg sodium.

Pineapple Caesar Salad

2 cups pineapple cubes (if large, cut in half)

4 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

¼ cup snipped chives

2 tablespoons bottled Caesar dressing

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place pineapple cubes and lettuce in a salad bowl. Add chives and dressing. Toss well. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 196 calories (50 percent from fat), 10.9 g fat (2.3 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 4.2 g protein, 23.3 g carbohydrates, 4.2 g fiber, 264 mg sodium.

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