Coconut Lime Chicken With Grilled Pineapple Recipe & Health Benefits

Coconut Lime Chicken With Grilled Pineapple Recipe & Health Benefits

Coconut lime chicken with grilled pineapple combines tropical flavors, delivering a delightful culinary experience. The zesty marinade made from coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, and ginger infuses the chicken with a unique flavor profile. The recipe involves marinating the chicken, grilling it to perfection, and serving it alongside grilled pineapple slices. The sweet and smoky pineapple perfectly complements the tangy and savory chicken.

Key Ingredients

  1. Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
  2. Coconut Milk: Full-fat coconut milk for richness.
  3. Lime: Fresh lime juice and zest for tanginess.
  4. Garlic: Freshly minced garlic for depth.
  5. Ginger: Fresh ginger for spice.
  6. Pineapple: Fresh pineapple slices for grilling.
  7. Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes or cilantro for garnish.

Preparation Steps

  1. Marinate the Chicken: Combine coconut milk, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken, ensuring it’s well-coated. Marinate for at least 30 minutes for optimal flavor.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Heat the grill to medium-high, ensuring it’s hot enough to create grill marks.
  3. Grill the Chicken: Place the marinated chicken on the grill. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  4. Grill the Pineapple: While the chicken cooks, place pineapple slices on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, achieving caramelized grill marks.
  5. Serve: Arrange the grilled chicken and pineapple on a plate. Garnish with optional cilantro or red pepper flakes for added flavor.
ComponentPer Serving
Calories350-400 calories
Protein30-35 grams
Fat15-20 grams
Carbohydrates25-30 grams
Fiber3-4 grams
Sodium400-450 mg

Key Ingredients and Their Benefits

Coconut in Culinary Uses

Coconut milk adds a rich, creamy texture to dishes. Its high-fat content enhances the flavor and provides a luxurious mouthfeel. In coconut lime chicken, coconut milk helps tenderize the chicken while imparting a subtle sweetness. According to the USDA, it’s also a good source of vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 and essential minerals like iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Benefits of Lime in Cooking

Lime juice brings a zesty, tangy flavor that balances the sweetness of coconut milk. It aids in marinating by breaking down proteins, making the chicken more tender and flavorful. Limes are rich in vitamin C, boosting your immune system and promoting healthy skin. Their acidity helps preserve food, preventing bacterial growth. In this recipe, lime adds brightness and complements the smoky notes from grilling.

Pineapple’s Role in Grilling

Pineapple slices become caramelized when grilled, adding a smoky sweetness to the dish. Their natural sugars create a delightful contrast with the savory chicken. Pineapples are high in vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, acts as a natural meat tenderizer, further enhancing the chicken’s texture. Grilled pineapple not only elevates the dish’s flavor profile but also adds a visually appealing, tropical element.

Cooking Techniques for Perfectly Grilled Pineapple

Preparing Pineapple for the Grill

First, select a ripe pineapple. Look for a fruit with a sweet smell at the base, vibrant green leaves, and firm, golden-yellow skin. Slice off the top and bottom, then stand the pineapple upright. Trim the skin, ensuring all eyes are removed. Cut the pineapple into rings or spears, depending on your preference. Remove the core from each piece to avoid tough, fibrous bites.

Grilling Tips for Pineapple

Preheat your grill to medium-high, around 375-400°F. Brush each pineapple piece with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking, using a neutral oil like canola. Grill the pineapple for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear and the fruit is caramelized. Rotate the pineapple 45 degrees halfway through grilling each side to create crosshatch marks. This step not only heightens the visual appeal but also ensures even caramelization. Test doneness by checking for a softened texture and golden-brown color.

By following these techniques, you can achieve perfectly grilled pineapple that enhances the flavor and presentation of your coconut lime chicken dish.

Recipe Walkthrough: Coconut Lime Content

Step-by-Step Recipe

  1. Marinate the Chicken
    Mix 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger in a bowl. Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and coat them evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but for best results, marinate overnight.
  2. Prepare the Pineapple
    Cut a fresh pineapple into 1/2-inch slices. Remove the core from each slice. Brush each slice with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent sticking and to enhance caramelization.
  3. Preheat the Grill
    Heat your grill to medium-high. Ensure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.
  4. Grill the Chicken
    Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. Grill the breasts for about 6-7 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Baste occasionally with the remaining marinade for extra flavor.
  5. Grill the Pineapple
    Place pineapple slices on the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and the pineapple is caramelized.
  6. Serve Immediately
    Plate the grilled chicken and pineapple slices together. For a more vibrant dish, garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  1. Spicy Coconut Lime Chicken
    Add 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes to the marinade. The added heat complements the sweetness of the pineapple.
  2. Herb-Infused Marinade
    Include fresh herbs such as cilantro or basil in the marinade. These herbs add a fresh, aromatic touch.
  3. Coconut Lime Rice
    Serve the chicken and pineapple over jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk. Add a squeeze of lime juice and lime zest for extra flavor.
  4. Tropical Salad Side
    Pair the dish with a tropical salad. Use ingredients like mixed greens, mango slices, and avocado with a honey-lime dressing. This adds a refreshing contrast to the grilled elements.
  5. Vegetarian Option
    Replace chicken with tofu or cauliflower steaks. Marinate and grill them in the same coconut lime mixture to create a dish that’s friendly for all dietary preferences.

By following the step-by-step recipe and considering variations, you can tailor your Coconut Lime Chicken with Grilled Pineapple to match your taste preferences.

Nutritional Profile

Health Benefits

Coconut Lime Chicken With Grilled Pineapple offers several health benefits thanks to its nutrient-rich ingredients. Coconut milk contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which provide a quick source of energy and might help with weight management. Lime juice is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports your immune system and skin health. Chicken provides lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Grilled pineapple offers dietary fiber, aiding digestion, and also contains bromelain, an enzyme linked to anti-inflammatory benefits.

Caloric Content Breakdown

A typical serving of Coconut Lime Chicken With Grilled Pineapple contains approximately 450-500 calories. Here’s a breakdown of the key components:

ComponentAmountCalories
Chicken Breast (6 oz)1180
Coconut Milk (1/4 cup)1100
Pineapple Slices (2 rings)250
Lime Juice (2 tbsp)110
Olive Oil (1 tbsp)1120

These values can vary based on portion sizes and specific ingredients used. Adjusting the recipe’s components provides flexibility to manage the dish’s caloric content.

Pairing Suggestions for Coconut Lime Chicken With Grilled Pineapple

Wine Pairings

Consider pairing the Coconut Lime Chicken with Grilled Pineapple with wines that enhance the dish’s tropical flavors. Light and refreshing wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio complement the citrusy lime and creamy coconut milk. Examples from New Zealand or Italy offer vibrant acidity and tropical fruit notes that balance the chicken’s richness and pineapple’s sweetness. For a slightly richer option, opt for a Riesling; its touch of sweetness can harmonize with the grilled pineapple’s caramelization.

Side Dishes

Choose side dishes that elevate the Coconut Lime Chicken with Grilled Pineapple’s tropical theme. Coconut lime rice makes an excellent choice, using coconut milk and lime zest to echo the main dish’s flavors. For a refreshing contrast, serve a tropical salad with mango, avocado, and a light vinaigrette. Grilled vegetables like bell peppers and zucchinis add a smoky depth and keep the meal light. If preferred, include a cooling cucumber mint salad to provide a crisp counterpoint to the dish’s tangy and sweet elements.

Conclusion

Coconut Lime Chicken with Grilled Pineapple offers a delightful mix of tropical flavors that can transform any meal into a culinary adventure. The combination of tangy lime, creamy coconut milk, and sweet grilled pineapple creates a balanced and memorable dish. With its health benefits and manageable caloric content, this recipe is a nutritious choice for any occasion. Pair it with complementary sides and a crisp wine to elevate your dining experience. Enjoy the vibrant flavors and the satisfaction of a well-rounded, delicious meal.

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