Hawaiian Baked Chicken

Green things are appearing here in Park City, but springtime can mean just about any kind of weather here- rain, hail, snow, or sunshine! I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy that my parents will be hopping a plane to Hawaii in a week or so. Even though it was only 7 months ago that we were there with them, it feels like forever ago! Look how tiny Oden was! What a memorable trip to share with my family.

When we got home from Kauai last September, fall was bringing chillier temperatures and the promise that Old Man Winter was on his way. I made this scrumptious chicken dish with island flavors to bring me back to paradise, if only for one supper. I wanted to use this gorgeous copper casserole dish (a wonderful perk of participating as a judge in AOL’s Food Awards!) and found and a recipe for Baked Hawaiian Chicken Thighs on Pinterest and make some slight tweaks. I can’t believe I never shared it with you!

It came together so easily- the hardest part is making the marinade! It’s got all sorts of flavor, thanks to ingredients like soy sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, and pineapple juice. I love a spicy-sweet combination! I whisked the marinade together and simmered it in a small saucepan on the stove while I got the chicken started. (Do you see my kitchen assistant in the background?)

In my pretty pan, I heated some olive oil. I seasoned boneless chicken thighs with plenty of salt and pepper and placed them skin side down in the pan. I’m a big fan of chicken thighs because they have so much flavor! While the chicken seared, I added big chunks of colorful bell pepper on top. I poured the marinade over everything, let it come to a bubble, and stuck the whole thing in a 350-degree oven. So simple!

After a half an hour or so, I flipped the chicken thighs. The skin was nice and browned, thanks to that quick sear on the stove! I spooned some marinade over the chicken and put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

While the chicken finished baking, I jazzed up some simple white rice with lime and chopped pineapple. To serve, I put a nice scoop of pineapple rice on the plate, topped it with a chicken thigh and some bell peppers, and spooned some of the delicious sauce from the pan over the top of everything. It’s ALL about that sauce. Yum!

The sauce is basically every flavor combo I love: sweet from the brown sugar and pineapple juice, salty from the soy sauce, spicy from the Sriracha, and even tangy with that extra squeeze of lime over the dish. The chicken thighs are so tender from baking in the marinade, but it’s worth that extra few minutes to sear the skin beforehand for texture. Adding the pineapple to the rice just brings out the island flavor in the sauce and the lime balances everything out.

Did I eat a dish like this in Hawaii? No. But it made me think about our time there when I first made it last fall, and now that I’m sharing it with you, I’m reminiscing about the trip all over again. It’s the perfect between-season meal- not too heavy, not too light. Whether the sun comes out this weekend in Park City or not, I think it’s time to make another batch of Hawaiian Baked Chicken!

Hawaiian Baked Chicken (thanks, Noshtastic)

You’ll need:

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (skin on)
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or more!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bell peppers, large chopped
  • Cooked white rice, fresh chopped pineapple, lime wedges to serve

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the juice, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, and garlic powder in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a swirl or two of olive oil in an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then place them skin side down in the pan. Sear for a few minutes before adding the bell peppers. Pour the marinade over everything, then place the pan uncovered in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Flip the chicken and spoon some sauce over each piece, then return it to the oven for another 20 minutes.

Mix the chopped pineapple into the rice and add salt, pepper, and a bit of lime juice. Serve the chicken and peppers over the pineapple rice with a lime wedge for squeezing over the top. Daydream about your toes in the sand and a cool Hawaiian breeze. YUM.

Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page

Want to see more of our adventures? Take a peek at the TRAVEL BLISS page.

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