Recipe of the Month – Debbie Reynolds’ Chicken a la Honolulu

I was so sad to hear the news about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.  Two great talents gone.  So, in a tiny tribute, I have decided to make Debbie’s Chicken a la Honolulu the first recipe of the month for 2017.  For me, it’s a dish that reminds me of the spring, most specifically, May on Mersea Island, which is where I first cooked this dish.  Alas, I don’t have a good photo of the finished dish, but please take my word for it, the chicken is delicious. 

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Debbie’s Hawaiin Chicken marinating

Chase away those winter blues

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with a little bit of Hawaii!

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Debbie said: I have long thought that among the many reasons the Hawaiian Islands deserved statehood is their contribution to good eating.  Here is a recipe I collected from a kamaaina (old-timer) there.

Debbie Reynolds’ Chicken a la Honolulu

2 x 2.5 lb broiler-fryers

Cleaned and cut

3 cups, fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks

1 cup pineapple juice – DO NOT USE FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE – see my note!

2 tablespoons ginger root, grated (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)

1 cup soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a marinade.  Cover chicken and let stand at least 4 hours.  Turn often.  Drain.

3 tablespoons oil

Brown chicken in a heavy skillet.  Place meat in a greased casserole.  Bake in 325 degree oven for an hour, or until tender.

NB – I used 6 chicken thighs and halved the marinade ingredients.  Debbie didn’t say what to do with the left over marinade so I boiled it fiercely (as I was told to do by the internet in case of GERMS) and then served some alongside the chicken for dipping.  It was delicious.

I had an email from a lovely blog reader called Norah who made Debbie’s chicken using fresh pineapple juice for the marinade – this made her chicken disintegrate…  There is an enzyme in fresh pineapple juice that is killed by heating, so use canned or cartoned pineapple juice.  I love the fact that Norah is going to have another go at the recipe saying:

“I’m going to make it again with fresh pineapple but not use it in the marinade, marinate for 20 minutes, brown & remove chicken then add pineapple to pan to heat gently to reduce the enzymes.  Then cook.  I’ll let you know how it goes!”

Please do Norah!

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