Hawaiian Chicken With Coconut Rice. A tropical-inspired meal that is simple, delicious, and makes me feel like I’m on vacation! The chicken is marinated in a flavorful soy and pineapple juice sauce, and can be grilled or pan-fried.
In addition, we are combining the tasty Hawaiian Chicken with fragrant coconut rice and grilled pineapples, because it is a flavor combination that will make your tastebuds dance the happy dance.
Why Hawaiian Chicken and Coconut Rice?
I constantly dream of the island life.
Island life. That sipping-fruity-alcoholic-drink, live-in-your-bathing-suit, sand-between-your-toes, go-to-sleep-listening-to-the-ocean-breeze, eating-fresh-seafood-and-tropical-fruits-all-the-time kinda life.
I grew up in Penang, an actual island in Malaysia, and as you probably guessed, life then was not like the island life I just described. Island life (as defined by yours truly) is the vacation kinda life.
The time when you are, of course, on an island, then you just unwind, let go of the world’s trouble, and bask in the beauty and splendor that is all around you.
TOO DREAMY FOR WORDS.
I am loving this Hawaiian Chicken and Coconut Rice dish because it takes me to the island life, vacation life, or whatever you want to call it.
Since island life isn’t happening anytime soon, I’m BRINGING IT TO ME. In the form of this glorious dish.
A girl’s gotta go what a girl’s gotta do. 🙂
There are three crucial parts to this dish: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken, Coconut Rice, and Grilled Pineapples
Here are the ingredients you will need for each of these parts:
- Hawaiian chicken
- chicken tenderloins – chicken breast or chicken thighs work as well.
- pineapple juice
- soy sauce – if you prefer you can use low sodium soy sauce
- brown sugar
- fresh garlic – avoid substituting with garlic powder – it’s just not the same!
- canola oil – other types of cooking oil works too, e.g. vegetable oil, olive oil, avocado oil etc.
- Coconut rice
- basmati or jasmine rice – I like these better than long-grain rice, they are more fragrant and pairs better with the Hawaiian Chicken and grilled pineapples
- coconut milk – unsweetened coconut milk that typically comes in a can.
- Grilled pineapple
- fresh pineapple cut into rings. You can used canned pineapple if you can’t get fresh ones.
The Hawaiian Chicken marinade is soy-based with a combination of salty, sweet, tangy and fruity flavors. The dish also incorporates tropical ingredients such as pineapple and coconut, and has a bit of a Polynesian flare to it.
Hawaiian Chicken over Coconut Rice reminds John and me so much of the food we had while we were in French Polynesia. We had seven glorious days of island life. And then we got sick in the middle of it. What can I say, reality often sneaks in, even in island life.
But seriously friends, one bite into this thing and I AM BACK ON THAT ISLAND. Sand between my toes and all.
How to make Hawaiian Chicken?
This Hawaiian Chicken is a marinate-and-grill (on a grill pan or outside grill) kind of recipe. EASY PEASY.
If you do not have a grill or do not want to mess with it, it will work pan fried as well. The only thing missing will be grill marks. I do love me some grill marks, because they sure are pretty, but not necessary.
If you use an outdoor grill, you do get a bit of a smoky flavor which is always a plus. But honestly, the marinade is so good it will work just fine indoor (not to mention easier clean up) on a grill pan or a regular pan.
The marinade for the Hawaiian Chicken has a variety of flavors – sweet, salty, tangy, tropical, and citrusy consisting of pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup, vegetable oil, and brown sugar.
It is a gorgeous, gorgeous marinade. This Hawaiian Chicken recipe calls for marinating it for an hour, but if you are planning ahead you can let it sit for up to 24 hours.
In fact, the longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the more flavorful the chicken is.
When the chicken is fully cooked, brush honey generously on both sides of the chicken.
Honey, combined with all the flavors in the marinade, create this sticky, complex concoction of flavors that is just out-of-this-world delicious. YUM.
Serving Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice and Grilled Pineapples
Another reason why I love this dish is the grilled pineapple. There’s something magical about putting fresh ripe pineapple on grill (or pan). It caramelizes the pineapple and brings out so much sweetness.
In my humble opinion, there’s only one way to make this Hawaiian Chicken dish complete. And that is to serve it with coconut rice.
The idea of serving this with coconut rice was inspired by one of my favorite Malaysian dishes, Nasi Lemak, which is a rice dish cooked with coconut milk.
Fragrant coconut rice, combined with the salty, sweet, tangy, citrusy chicken, and the sweet and warm pineapple, will tantalize your tastebuds, and take you on a a fun culinary adventure.
So many different flavors and textures, and so very, very good.
And guess what? Simple and straightforward to make.
So here you go. Hawaiian Chicken and Coconut Rice.
My little escape to the island life, in the form of my Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice. This is another one of our favorites, and I’m just excited to be able to share the recipe with you!
Here are a few appliances that will make making this much easier!
- Cast Iron Grill Pan (This is the one I have for many years and love!)
- Food Processor (blender would work too!)
- Meat Thermometer
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t have or want to grill, I recommend pan frying but not baking. When chicken is baked, we are not able to seal as much flavor to the surface of the chicken and thus making it less flavorful.
Marinade chicken for longer. The longer you marinade the chicken the tastier it will be. I suggested a minimum time of 1 hour but I like to marinate for longer if I can to make it more flavorful.
Other Chicken recipes!
- Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders (with instructions to make it non spicy!)
- Lemon Balsamic Grilled (or Pan-Fried) Chicken
- Cajun Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken in Tomato and Herb Sauce
- Asian Peanut Chicken Salad
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken (by Chili Pepper Madness!)
DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest! We very much appreciate your help! 🤍
Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice
- ~1 1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins 7-8 pieces
- 1/2 fresh ripe pineapple
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 5-6 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp Fresh parsley chopped
- In a food processor or blender, blend pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, fresh garlic and canola oil to create the marinade for the chicken.
- Add chicken and marinade into a zip lock bag, mix well to ensure all chicken tenderloins are covered with marinate. Marinate for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours (the longer the better!).
- Grease a grill pan, cast iron grill, charcoal grill, electric grill or non-stick skillet.
- Cook chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F. Flip halfway through. Once chicken is done, brush honey on both sides of the tenderloins and remove.
- Slice pineapple into 1/2-1 inch thick slices and grill on both sides.
- On the stovetop, in a pot, bring to boil rice, water and coconut milk. Once boiled, bring to medium low heat and cook covered (cover with a tight lid and do not open) for ~17-20 minutes (See Note 1). Remove from heat.
- If using a rice cooker, follow rice cooker instruction. Use 1:1 ratio of coconut milk to water to substitute for the amount of water needed to cook the rice.
- Serve chicken and pineapple on a bed of coconut rice, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Enjoy!