Delicious Hawaiian chicken is both fruity and tangy, with a peppery heat that is almost intoxicating. Anyone who loves to mix sweet and savory will love this recipe! Enjoy tropical Hawaiian flavors in this fantastic roasted poultry dish.
Let’s steer away from your ordinary, average weeknight dinner for something really spectacular! In this recipe, we’re combining some unlikely flavors for a surprisingly delicious, extraordinary dish.
Hawaiian chicken is sweet and sticky — not to mention spicy! This is all thanks to a well-cooked bird, a great balance of pineapple, mango, and lime with savory seasonings, and a pineapple-chili glaze that’ll blow you away.
I use a spatchcocking method to prepare the chicken for this dish. It’s easier than it looks (see images and video below), and it helps the meat to cook evenly.
A refreshing rice side goes tremendously well with this recipe — I recommend this Cilantro Lime Rice. Some Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Leeks would also help to balance out your meal with rich, earthy flavors.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken – This recipe calls for a full 4-pound bird. You can either cut it in half or use a spatchcock method.
- Pineapple, Mango, and Lime – Each fruit’s unique texture, and even more unique flavor, creates a full tropical profile that is sweet, acidic, and refreshing.
- Spice Blend – In addition to salt, we’ll season the meat with:
- Coriander – This ground herb is a perfect match for lime and has a mild, sweet flavor.
- Cumin – While similar to coriander in taste, it has a warmer, nuttier flavor as well.
- Cinnamon – Sweet, strong, with a slight earthy bitterness. Allspice could make a good substitute.
- White & Cayenne Pepper – White pepper is milder than black pepper, while cayenne really packs a punch in terms of heat.
- Glaze – To coat and flavor the meat:
- Pineapple Juice – Sticky and sweet, this forms the base of our glaze.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Strong and acidic. Wine vinegar (red or white) could be used instead.
- Brown Sugar – A deep, rich sweetness.
- Paprika – Pleasantly smoky and mildly spicy.
- Garlic – Garlic compliments our other flavors and heightens the aroma of the dish overall.
- Serrano Chiles – These spicy chili peppers are three times as hot as a jalapeño.
HOW TO MAKE HAWAIIAN CHICKEN
- Preheat and Prep. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, slice the fruit. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the spice blend ingredients.
- Prepare and Season. Cut or spatchcock your chicken. Generously season with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the flesh of the meat and coating thoroughly.
- Brown and Crisp. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Lay the chicken in the pan, breast-side down, and cook for approximately 5 minutes — until the skin becomes brown and starts to crisp.
- Bake. Layer the pineapple on the bottom of your roasting pan. Place the bird on top, arranging the mango and lime slices all around. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. When the thigh reaches 165°F, it’s done.
- Glaze. While the meat is roasting, combine all of the glaze ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on medium-high, reducing the glaze until it thickens. Brush the glaze over the bird in its final 5 minutes of cooking.
- Let Cool and Serve. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, and remove the limes before serving.
What flavors and ingredients are in Hawaiian chicken?
This dish is full of sweet, sticky, tropical flavors — and a real kick of heat! The stars of this meal are the pineapples, mangoes, and limes. The spiciness of the chiles and pepper really takes it to the next level and goes great with the fruity glaze.
What is the best way to reheat leftover chicken?
Reheat this dish by putting it back in the oven at 325°F until the center is warm. Cover loosely with foil and add a few tablespoons of stock or water to the pan to keep the bird moist.
Alternatively, you can microwave your leftovers in 30 second increments until reheated all the way through.
Can leftover Hawaiian chicken be frozen?
Yes. Once cooked, this dish can last for up to 3 months in the freezer and 3 days in the refrigerator. Allow the frozen meat to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Roasted Hawaiian Chicken + Video
- 4 lb chicken (See Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 fresh pineapple halved, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 2 mangos sliced
- 2 limes quartered
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 6 oz pineapple juice small can or fresh
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 serrano chile sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut up the pineapple, mango and limes and set aside. Mix together the kosher salt, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, white pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.
- Either use or cut the whole chicken in half or spatchcock (See Note and watch video).
- Rub chicken with spice mixture all over, pressing to adhere.
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken, breast side down, until browned and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a roasting pan with pineapple arranged on bottom in pan. Place chicken, skin side up, on top, then add mango and lime pieces all around. Transfer to oven and roast uncovered until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 40–45 minutes.
- While chicken roasts, make glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, paprika and serrano chiles to a boil and cook until thickened, 12 minutes.
- In last 5 minutes of roasting chicken, brush with the glaze and roast until glaze is bubbling.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest 10 minutes. Serve chicken, roasted pineapple and mango (discard limes) with any juices from skillet on top.
- The whole chicken can be halved or spatchcocked. By flattening out the chicken, you’re exposing the legs to a higher heat, helping them cook faster than the breasts which results in a juicy meat. It also ensures crisper skin and is much faster to cook than traditional whole roasting.
If spatchcocking: be sure to have the chicken on a clean cutting surface breast side down.
- Starting at either the tail end or the neck area, use sharp kitchen scissors or poultry shears, and cut along each side of the backbone (cutting through the rib bones) as you go towards the other end and remove the backbone.Discard the backbone or freeze for soup stock.
- Flip the chicken over and press down hard OR, after removing the back bone, spread the chicken out and turn over. Flatten the breastbone using the heel of your hand so that the meat is butterflied and all one thickness. Spatchcock Tip: If it doesn’t lay flat do this – In the center area near the neck there will be a triangle of cartilage right where the breastbone starts (see my finger pointing to it in the photo below). Using a sharp knife, cut down a quarter inch and spread the cut area open to reveal the breast bone.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.