Smoky Hawaiian-BBQ Chicken with Grilled Pineapple and Maui Onions

Smoky Hawaiian-BBQ Chicken with Grilled Pineapple and Maui Onions

Ingredients

  • 2 split chicken breasts (about 1 ½ -2 lbs), bone-in and skin on
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Maui (or other sweet) onions, 1 finely diced and 1 thinly sliced, divided use
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup all-natural (100%) pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 cup smoky BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ¼ – ½” thick slices of fresh pineapple, center core removed
  • 4 Hawaiian sandwich buns, toasted
  • Mayo to taste

Directions

  1. Season the split chicken breasts with a little drizzle of olive oil, a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, and the onion powder; place a large, heavy bottom (preferably non-stick) pan or shallow braising pot over medium-high heat, and add a couple of drizzles of olive to it; once the oil is hot, place the chicken breasts skin-side down into the pot, and allow them to sear for about 3 minutes until golden; flip the chicken over onto the bone side, and allow them to sear for another 3 minutes; remove the chicken breasts from pan, and set aside on plate for a moment.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add another small drizzle of oil into the pan, if needed; add in the finely diced onion, and stir to soften and caramelize in the oil for about 1-2 minutes; next, add in the garlic, stir, and once that becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and stir to combine; after a moment or two of cooking the tomato paste, add in the pineapple juice and stir to scrape up any of the brown bits from the bottom, and allow the mixture to gently simmer for a moment or two, just until combined and slightly thickened; next, add in the chicken base, the ketchup, the BBQ sauce and the honey, then stir.
  3. Now add the two chicken breasts back into the pot, skin-side down; reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow the chicken to very gently simmer in the sauce for about 20-22 minutes; after that time, turn the chicken over onto the bone-side, and allow it to simmer for another 10 minutes; turn the heat off, and remove the chicken from the pan, and place it onto a plate to cool slightly, just enough for it to be handled; once slightly cooled, remove and discard the skin and the bones, and pull the chicken meat apart into chunky shreds (you can also use a fork); add the shredded meat back into the sauce in the pan and stir in the sauce to coat; cover to keep warm, and set aside.
  4. To grill your pineapple and onions, place a grill pan over medium-heat, and add in a drizzle or two of oil; once the pan is hot, add the slices of pineapple and grill each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden and lightly caramelized; remove the pineapple and set aside; next, add another drizzle of olive oil to the grill pan, and add in the sliced onion along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and allow it to grill/caramelize for about 8-10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown; remove and set aside next to the pineapple; cover to keep warm, if necessary.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches, spread some of the mayo onto each half of the toasted Hawaiian sandwich bun; to the bottom bun, add a slice of the grilled pineapple, then top that with a layer of the caramelized onion, and finish with a helping of the pulled chicken with BBQ sauce, covering with the top bun; enjoy with Maui onion-flavored and kettle-cooked potato chips, slaw, salad or fresh fruit.