I was recently sitting in my living room taking in (singing) some South Pacific. It’s really only fitting because not only do I love musicals (are you really that surprised?) but I also LOVE anything tropical/South Pacific/Polynesian/Hawaiian. I may also have a Tiki Bar obsession.
Due to the big success of my Pineapple Upside Down Cake and my love of pineapples and all things tropical, I was inspired to create a chicken dish that brought out the ultimate flavor in a sweet (but not OVERLY sweet) Polynesian-inspired sauce adorned with pineapple and peppers. The sauce in itself can be a religion.
Now we all know the Instant Pot cooks chicken like nothing else can; SO moist, tender and fall apart and that’s exactly what you’ll get in this dish – especially since we’re using thighs. And chicken dishes don’t get any easier than this one, folks. Not only will you go pineapples over it, whoever shares it with you (kids included) will clear their plates in no time.
So prepare to make something SO easy and SO outrageous, you’ll end up getting lei’d in return!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Grab a couple of red bell peppers…
…and cut them into large chunks.
We’ll also need some boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Now, let’s make this INCREDIBLE sauce directly in the Instant Pot using 3 simple ingredients.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Whisk together until it becomes a sauce.
Add the red peppers…
…and stir it up with the sauce.
Lay the chicken thighs on top of the sauced peppers, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While the chicken’s flying to Bora Bora, take a can of pineapple chunks (in juice, NOT heavy syrup)…
…and drain (you can keep the juice if you wish to use it for a drink…with rum…or for whatever other reason).
And also prepare a cornstarch slurry (Smart tip: you can use the pineapple juice from the can instead of water).
When the chicken’s done, remove with tongs…
…and place in a serving dish.
Heat the pot back up on “Sauté” and add in the drained pineapple chunks…
…and the cornstarch slurry. Mix well…
…and bring the sauce to a bubble and then turn off the heat so it cools down.
Once the sauce has had a chance to thicken, take a serving spoon…
…and spoon it over the chicken in the serving dish along with all the peppers and pineapple.
Then take a plate for yourself…
…and get lei’d for a job well done!In keeping with that pineapple theme, follow it up with my Pineapple Upside Down Cake for dessert!
- 2-4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
- 16 oz bottle of Catalina salad dressing (or California French – same thing)
- 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup of honey
- 20 oz can of pineapple chunks (in juice, NOT heavy syrup), drained
- 3 tbsp of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of water (OR 3 tbsp of the pineapple juice from the can!)
- Add the Catalina dressing, apple cider vinegar and honey to the Instant Pot. Whisk together so it forms a sauce
- Add the red bell peppers and mix with the sauce and then lay the chicken thighs on top
- Secure the lid and cook on “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release when done
- Carefully remove the chicken with tongs and place in a serving dish. Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then “Sauté” so it’s on the “High” or “More” setting. Add in the drained pineapple chunks and cornstarch slurry. Stir very well, giving the bottom of the pan a little scrape (not because anything should be stuck to it, but just to mix in any settled honey or cornstarch). Let is set for a minute and bring to a bubble. Once it bubbles for another minute, give it a stir, turn the pot off and let the sauce cool a little. It will thicken nicely
- Once the sauce has cooled down some, spoon it (and the peppers and pineapple) over the chicken and serve with a rice of your choice (I STRONGLY suggest pairing it with my now famous Hibachi Fried Rice and making it a true South Pacific theme by ending with my acclaimed Pineapple Upside Down Cake!)
- Hula dance
The sauce is going to be enough to accommodate up to 4 pounds of chicken. If only using 2 pounds, you can halve the sauce but I suggest just making it as written and refrigerating or freezing the leftover sauce. It will go beautifully over my internet sensation Hibachi Fried Rice or over any kind of beef, pork or even a Mahi Mahi!
Give this meal a TRUE theme of the South Pacific and finish with my famous Pineapple Upside Down Cake (but cook that first)!
Don’t care for pineapples or red peppers? You don’t need to add them! They just really complement the dish and its flavors perfectly!
Want to use onions or other veggies? Go for it!