Did your dad cook chicken in an oven bag, too?
There’s something truly magical that happens in an oven bag – ok, sure it’s mostly steam but I’m here to tell you that steam is pretty high up there on the magic in the kitchen scale.
My dad made this Hawaiian Chicken (so named because it came from one of his 1970’s cookbooks and the recipe contains pineapple) every month as we were growing up. It’s a toss-in-a-bag type dinner which I think is an early version of a one-pot or sheet-pan dinner. Get it done, dinner. It never goes out of style, obviously.
I’ve updated the recipe to a pot, instead of the bag, We’ll use fresh pineapple instead of canned. We’ll keep the water chestnuts for crunch. We’ll add the pea pods fresh instead of frozen. And the French dressing marinade? We’ll keep that because some things from the 70’s need our respect, salad dressing marinades being one of them.
Here’s dinner – let’s!
Here’s what you’ll need for dinner:
• boneless skinless chicken thighs, honestly the hero a lot of my quick and comforting dinners.
• French dressing – the presence of which implies that this recipe comes to us directly from the 1970’s. Can you use something other that jarred French dressing? Sure, but why not time travel and enjoy the simple pleasure of a salad dressing marinated chicken?
• onions and garlic for base flavor
• pineapple, pea pods, and sliced water chestfuls for sweetness and texture
• soy sauce and lemon to flavor the chicken broth
• long grain rice to round out dinner.
I find it easiest to gather all of my ingredients before I set out for dinner.
You don’t need a million tiny bowls – a few good piles on the cutting board will do equally well.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Big pinches are the way to go, always.
Add the French dressing and hey, stir it up / let it be/ refrigerate and allow to tenderize.
Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
It’s a generous act that burns the eyes and stinks the fingers but it’s all in the name of dinner so we do it.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to shake some of the chill off by resting on the counter for 25 minutes or so.
In a hefty medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Place each piece of chicken, letting the dressing drip off a bit into the hot pan. Brown the chicken on both sides until lightly caramelized. Remove the chicken from the pan (it won’t be cooked through and that’s ok!) and set aside.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook to softened and fragrant.
Add the rice to the onions and garlic.
Stir to coat the rice and incorporate the onions and garlic.
It’ll start to smell amazing – you’re on the right track.
Slice up the water chestfuls. They’ll add the best crunch to this dish – don’t skip it!
The sweetness and bite of fresh pineapple is incredible and can’t be matched so splurge on that fresh pineapple life, slice bite-sized.
Add chicken stock to the pot with rice, onions and garlic.
Let’s keep adding things: the pea pods – in.
Fresh pineapple chunks and sliced water chestnuts – in, too.
The mixture will be soupy and needs to cook down all together.
Return the chicken back to the pot for some quality time and full cooking.
Place the lid on he pan and allow it to simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and check on the rice. It might need a few more minutes and a splash more broth or water. Return the lid, if that’s the case, and cook for 6 minutes more.
Allow the chicken to rest a few minutes before spooning generously into bowls.
Sprinkle with scallions and fresh pineapple.
It’s dinner! Lightly sweet, pleasingly salty, fresh, warm, comforting.
Dad’s One-Pot Hawaiian Chicken
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 persons 1x
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ cup French Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 cup bite size pieces of fresh pineapple
- 1 cup fresh pea pods
- 1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions
- Place chicken pieces in a medium bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Add dressing and stir to coat all of the chicken pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or up to overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so – just to get the chill off. In a medium heavy-bottom pot (I used a cast iron pot with a sturdy lid) heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pot, shaking off a bit of the French dressing and allowing the chicken to brown, undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip each piece of chicken and allow to brown on the alternate side for 4 minutes. Remove each chicken piece from the pan and place on a plate.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan, stir and cook until the onions are softened and cooked through and the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pineapple chunks, pea pods, sliced chestnuts, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the chicken stock over medium heat and return to a simmer. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, including any juices that may have accumulated on the plate.
- Cover and allow to simmer, reducing the heat to low. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and check the rice. If you find that it’s a bit crunchy and has absorbed all of the water, feel free to add 1/4 more stock or water, return the lid and allow the rice to steam for about 6 minutes more.
- Remove the lid, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls and top with a few fresh pineapple chunks and chopped scallions.
- Enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Serving Size: 4
Going to try this with Korean barbeque sauce.
We have the same pepper mill, Joy. I love that thing, and the way it works upside-down so it doesn’t leave pepper scat all over the table or counter.
I have pineapple, I have chicken, and I’m making this dish tonight!
I live in Sweden so I substituted barbeque sauce instead of french dressing. I also used carrots for crunch because my crazy hubs doesn’t like water chesnuts! This was so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
I wonder if you could make this in the Instant Pot?? Sounds so yummy and cant wait to try it!!
Joy can you have your dad send me some of his prepared One Pot Hawaiian Chicken??? Please? Pretty Please? . I made this last night and it absolutely did not come out how the pictures looked:( I figure you win some and you lose.
Thanks for the recipe and keep up the great work!!!
Nice Recipe!! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe with us.
HELP! French dressing in UK looks NOTHING like what you were pouring on the chicken …here it’s thin pale oil and vinegar mix with herbs in…what ingredients are in the thick,orangey one you used pls? or does anyone know of a good substitute I can buy easily here in the UK? I really want to try this recipe as so bored of my usual supper recipes and know me AND BF will love this one. Will probably substitute broccoli or green beans for the sugar snap peas and red peppers for the water chestnuts as they are difficult to get for me locally. I bet some zucchini would be nice with it too.
Make you’re own French Dressing
?1 large clove garlic
?2/3 cup sunflower, safflower, or other light vegetable oil
?1/4 cup white vinegar
?1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
?3 tablespoons honey, more or less to taste
?1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
?1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
?1 teaspoon paprika
?3/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
?1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
?1/2 teaspoon onion powder
?Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place garlic in a blender or small food processor; pulse until minced. Add oil, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Purée until well-combined. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, if desired, and purée again. Transfer to a jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before serving.
Mini Food Processor
FOR CATALINA DRESSING ~ Follow the same directions using the following ingredients:
1 large clove garlic
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup all-natural ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey (more or less, to taste)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus additional to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
* * * * * * * * * *
If desired, you may finely mince the garlic with a knife, place all of the ingredients in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake vigorously until well-combined.
Feel free to cut the ingredients in half for a smaller batch of dressing.
Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Any chance of getting you to share the directions for an oven bag? I actually still have a couple and would love to try it!
Thanks for this recipe! I made it today! It’s sooooo tasty! I was not so sure about the French dressing, but it makes a fantastic marinade.
Why cant I pin this recipe? I went directly to your website and still not able to pin. :(