Chicken & Pineapple Lo Mein
Pineapples can be intimidating. I almost sliced my thumb off the first time I tried to cut a pineapple, and have an amazing scar to prove it. I blame a dull knife and lack of pineapple experience. That was ages ago. Since then, I found that showing the pineapple who’s boss from the moment you start cutting is key. That, plus a sharp chef’s knife and learning a basic cutting technique. Cutting the outer layer off in sections in its entirety is fine as long as you have the proper storage container to place any chunks you don’t plan to use immediately. Pineapple can be stored in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
Pineapple is great on its own or in a fruit salad, but also adds a bit of sweetness and texture cooked dishes. I like adding pineapple to chicken lo mein, a simple yet filling weekday dinner option. In this recipe, I used Ka-Me Wide Lo Mein Noodles and a peanut sauce I purchased at my neighborhood H Mart, although both items are also available in the International aisle of most supermarkets. When preparing this dish, make sure to watch the stove top temperature. You want to cook the chicken over medium heat, but let pineapple simmer in orange juice over low heat to avoid drying up. The peanut sauce compliments this dish so well but for those allergic to peanut, I recommend using tahini sauce.
Serving Size: 4
1 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
Juice from one (1) navel orange
1/4 cup of room-temperature water
4 tablespoons peanut sauce (substitute: tahini sauce)
Place a large pot over medium heat and add sesame oil. When oil begins to sizzle, add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add chicken and cook for about 10-12 minutes on each side, turning with tongs. Make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove chicken from pot and place on a cutting board. Switch heat to low, and add pineapple and orange juice. In the meantime, pull chicken apart with two forks and return to the pot containing pineapple. Add water and cook for 10 minutes.
Prepare noodles. Bring water to boil in a saucepan and add noodles. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and transfer noodles to the pot containing chicken and pineapple. Add peanut sauce and stir for about a minute until incorporated. Serve immediately and place leftovers in an airtight container.