When we think of Hawaii, we think of warm island breezes, rainbows, and good food. When we can’t jet off to soak in the first two on our list, we can recreate the last item right in our own kitchen: good food. We’ve got just the recipe to take at least our taste buds on a vacation: Aloha chicken and rice. It’s a delightful combination of savory, salty, and sweet that will really pep up a weeknight dinner routine. All we need were some pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients to bring the taste of aloha to our dinner table.
Pantry staples are a great way to make meals quickly, and for that reason, one item we always keep on hand is instant rice. When we need to add substance to a meal, then rice is a quick and easy way to add heartiness. Canned fruits, like pineapples, are another ingredient that we like to keep in the pantry for occasions just like this. We whip up a soy sauce marinade and use pineapple chunks to add sweetness and acidity. Fresh ingredients help to brighten up these pantry staples. Bell peppers are a great way to add color and crunch, while chopped green onions add a peppery kick of flavor. We use chicken tenders here because they cook up so quickly and we all know that adding bacon to a meal makes it taste so good, so a couple strips of chopped bacon are a perfect way to add more flavor.
As this bakes in the oven, our kitchen is filled with a warm and inviting aroma. We love the combination of savory soy sauce, sweet honey and pineapple, al dente rice and tender chicken. Colorful food is so appealing, and that’s why we love to use bell peppers and green onion, for both flavor and looks. When we can’t escape off to a tropical island paradise, we can at least try to bring some of that island life home with us, and our Aloha chicken and rice is just what we need to bring the taste of vacation to a weeknight meal.
1-1 ½ pound chicken tenders, diced into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups instant rice, uncooked
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions, garnish
3-4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, and honey (add crushed red pepper flakes, if using).
Add rice, chopped onion, bell pepper, and pineapple chunks with juices, and chopped chicken pieces to baking dish. Pour soy sauce mixture over top.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Stir ingredients together, then top with bacon pieces and return to oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Toss again before serving and garnish with chopped green onions.