Sweet & Spicy Pineapple and Chicken Risotto

April 20, 2021

by RajaWellness

We all know that dilemma of “what to make for dinner?” One day I was staring at a lovely fresh pineapple my husband had gotten me trying to figure out what to do with it. I thought hey, chicken and pineapple go well together and we have some grass-fed chicken breasts to use, so that’s a start.  And we had some veggies to grill on the side. But I also wanted some rice (because I can only do so much riced cauliflower before I need a little break) - and I don’t like to use a lot of pots because I am a lazy cook. So I glanced at the pressure cooker waiting to be put up from making the weekly steel cut oats earlier that day and I was inspired….Would it be possible to make pressure cooker risotto and also cook my chicken in the delicious juices at the same time?  Some googling found lots of recipes for mushroom chicken risotto doing just that and I had my solution. It could be wonderful or awful - but all new recipes have that potential.

So, the end result was absolutely wonderful - a sweet and spicy nod to traditional jerk flavors with the creamy lush texture of risotto. I will do my best to share the recipe with you, but keep in mind that if you like more sweetness you may want to add more brown sugar. If you use canned pineapple, you may need less.  Ours had a gentle heat, but a little more cayenne or chili sauce could easily crank up the fire if that’s more to your taste. You can use pre-cooked chicken and probably could use fish or other mild meats with this dish - even a mild Italian sausage. I wanted leftovers for lunch so I used a full pound (2C) of rice but you can adjust the ratios for more or less.  My pressure cooker is not a fancy Instapot - but I’m sure you can adapt this for most pots.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C rice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 pineapple or 1 can of pineapple
  • 4-5 C chicken stock
  • ½-1 lb chicken breast
  • ⅓ C brown sugar
  • “Slap Ya Momma” Cajun seasoning (sold in most grocery stores)
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Diced veggies of your choice (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ C white cooking wine
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)

Directions:

Set the rice to soak for at least 30 minutes in cold water - I always do this with rice before cooking. While the rice is soaking: Peel and core your pineapple (if using canned - time to open the can). Marinate the chicken in a brine of chicken broth (add just enough to cover the meat), 1 lime juiced, cores from pineapple (if using canned pineapple, add the juice and a few chunks to the marinade), about ⅓ C brown sugar, a little “Slap Ya Momma” seasoning, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes and prep your veggies or other desired sides. Dice some garlic if you want to add it (I used 2 cloves).

Back to the rice - drain and rinse well, set aside in a strainer. Preheat the oven to about 400 for the veggies (if desired). Use the “saute” or “brown” mode in your pot - if you don’t have one you will need an extra pan and to do this over med high heat on the stove top. Add in 2 Tbsp olive oil, pineapple chunks, diced garlic and saute until tender and pineapple is starting to brown (the fancy word I believe is caramelized). Add in ½ C cooking wine (whatever white-ish type you have on hand, or like I used this time a Chinese cooking wine) and 1 Tbsp butter. Add in rice and stir until rice has absorbed the liquid. Add in about 4 C  of the remaining chicken stock, your chicken, stir well and switch to “rice mode” or other default that will give you 10 min cooking time. If you are doing grilled veggies as a side - place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and put them in the preheated oven.  While the pressure cooker gets going, relax, set the table, do some chores, whatever.  Periodically check the veggies to make sure they are cooking to your desired doneness. 

At the end of the cooking time “quick release” the pressure, stir and you should be ready to serve your delicious sweet and spicy risotto with your favorite veggies or sides (or simply enjoy the main dish!). This made plenty for two adults with leftovers for lunch for two, though a little more chicken would have been ideal. Please, be sure your chicken is cooked if you aren’t using pre-cooked chicken...and that’s all there is to it!

Mind / Body / Healing
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