Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sriracha Chicken Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa

We made pizza a few days ago, and my daughter wanted pineapple to put on hers. Needless to say there was almost a full can of pineapple chunks leftover, and it was time to use them!

 I had already decided to marinade the chicken breasts in sriracha, honey and cumin and the idea of using the chicken for tacos had some appeal, especially when I thought about making pineapple salsa. Keeping in mind that I can only eat cooked pineapple, I roasted it before turning it into salsa. This caramelized the natural sugars in the pineapple, and contrasted nicely with the acidity of the lime juice.

The chicken had a bit of a kick from the sriracha, which can be increased as you wish. The salsa was sweet and acidic, fresh and crunchy. This is a great meal for a week night dinner on the patio.

Start off by making a marinade for the chicken. Combine:

2 chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoon avocado oil


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 chicken tenders

Turn to coat well on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Drain the pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice.

Place the pineapple and juice into an ovenproof dish and roast at 350F for about 30 minutes, until it starts to caramelize around the edges and the juice has all evaporated.

Remove from the oven to cool completely.

Remove the cooled pineapple from the pan, and add:

2 tablespoons lime juice

Place on the stove to heat, scraping the caramel off the bottom as it heats. When the lime juice boils, remove from the stove and cool.

Finely dice the pineapple. Add:

1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 red pepper, finely diced

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the lime juice and pineapple caramel.

Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice or honey to correct the acidity.

Grill the chicken on a hot grill, until fully cooked.

Remove from the heat and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, before thinly slicing.

To serve, place some shredded lettuce onto a warm tortilla, and top with the sliced chicken and pineapple salsa. Allow guests to add avocado, sour cream or pepper Jack cheese as they wish. Roll up and dig in! I also served grilled corn on the cob.

  • For the salsa, fresh pineapple can be used instead of canned. If you are using fresh pineapple, add a bit of pineapple or apple juice to the chunks for roasting.
  • If you wish to increase the sweetness and caramelization, add some honey or brown sugar to the pineapple. 
  • To add more heat to the salsa, you have a few choices...sriracha; minced jalapeno peppers; chili flakes added to the roasting pineapple.
  • Chopped fresh cilantro can also be added to the salsa if you have some available. This will add freshness and colour.
  • As mentioned above, add more sriracha to the chicken marinade if you want more heat. 
  • The oil in the marinade should be sufficient to prevent sticking to the grill, but lightly oiling the grill first doesn't hurt.
  • These tacos can be made with fish, such as cod or snapper. The marinading time will be less, no more than an hour at the most. You can also use the marinade for scallops or prawns.
  • The chicken can be used for pizza toppings, quesadilla filling, wraps or served whole or sliced with salad. It can also be cut into chunks for marinading and then threaded onto skewers for grilling.

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