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Maui Wow-ee Chicken

If you’re craving a taste of the tropics but can’t hop on a plane to Hawaii, we’ve got the next best thing for you – Maui Wow-ee Chicken! This delightful dish brings the flavors of the Hawaiian islands right to your dinner table. With its perfect blend of sweet and savory, it’s an instant crowd-pleaser that’ll have everyone saying “Aloha!”

Ingredients

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

For the Pineapple Salsa:

  • 2 cups of fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

Marinating the Chicken:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and onion powder. This will be your chicken marinade.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours for maximum flavor.

Making the Pineapple Salsa:

  1. In a separate bowl, combine the diced pineapple, red bell pepper, red onion, minced jalapeño, and chopped cilantro.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salsa and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, then refrigerate until serving.

Grilling the Chicken:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  3. Grill the chicken for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  4. While grilling, you can brush the chicken with some of the reserved marinade for extra flavor.
  5. Once done, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Serving:

  1. Slice the grilled chicken into thin strips.
  2. Serve the chicken on a platter and spoon the pineapple salsa on top.
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges for an extra burst of flavor.
  4. Enjoy your Maui Wow-ee Chicken with a side of steamed rice or a crisp, green salad.

Cook’s Notes

  • Pineapple: Fresh pineapple is preferred for the salsa, but you can use canned pineapple chunks in a pinch. Just make sure to drain them well.
  • Grill Options: If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can use an indoor grill pan or even broil the chicken in your oven. Just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the heat of the dish by adding or reducing the amount of jalapeño in the salsa. For a milder version, you can skip the jalapeño altogether.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Twist: If you’re looking for a meatless version, you can substitute the chicken with firm tofu or tempeh. Marinate and grill them the same way you would with the chicken.
  • Tropical Twist: Want to make it even more tropical? Add some sliced mango or papaya to your pineapple salsa for an extra burst of sweetness.
  • Coconut Rice: Serve your Maui Wow-ee Chicken with coconut-infused rice for a truly Hawaiian experience.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

To make this dish keto or low-carb friendly, you can substitute the brown sugar in the marinade with a sugar substitute like erythritol or stevia. Be mindful of the carb content in ketchup or use a sugar-free ketchup alternative. The pineapple salsa is relatively low-carb due to the high fiber content of pineapple, but you can further reduce the carbs by using a smaller portion or substituting with berries.

Conclusion

Maui Wow-ee Chicken is a delightful and tropical dish that brings the flavors of Hawaii to your kitchen. With its sweet and savory profile, it’s a fantastic choice for a weeknight dinner or a weekend barbecue. The pineapple salsa adds a burst of freshness and flavor that perfectly complements the grilled chicken. So, bring a touch of the islands into your home with this mouthwatering recipe.

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