The inspiration for this dish comes from a recipe my mom used to make when my brother and I were younger. Her version was “Hawaiian Hamburgers”, and she would make hamburger patties and top them with this sauce and slices of pineapple. I adapted the recipe some and added some veggies to round out the dish. The beauty of this dish is you can use bone-in or boneless chicken, pork or even shrimp as long as you adjust your cooking times accordingly. For this version I used drumsticks since that is what I had on hand.
Begin with searing the meat you will use in your dish. The idea is to get a nice browning on all sides without cooking the meat through.
While your meat is browning, cut your vegetables into bite-sized chunks. I used onion, carrot, red and green peppers. You will also need one large can of pineapple chunks, reserving the liquid in a 4-cup measure or medium-sized bowl. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In an oven-proof pan, lightly saute your vegetables and pineapple chunks without browning. As they are cooking, prepare the sauce with the following ingredients:
- Reserved pineapple juice with enough cold water added to make 2 cups.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 3 tbsp rice or white vinegar
- 2 heaping tbsp cornstarch
Stir the sauce ingredients well and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, stirring often. As the sauce thickens, the cloudiness will clear.
Once the cloudiness has cleared and the sauce has thickened, add your browned meat to the pan. Cover and bake for twenty minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Serve over cooked rice or noodles.
This dish reheats well as leftovers however; you may need to add some water to thin out the sauce once it has been refrigerated. I don’t recommend freezing it as the vegetables will get mushy.