Chicken al Pastor Skillet

Chicken al Pastor Skillet Recipe

One of my favorite things about cooking is how it transports us to different places without ever leaving our kitchen. Today, I’m taking us on a flavorful journey to Mexico with my Pineapple Chicken Al Pastor recipe. This dish is a delightful twist on the traditional pork al pastor, inspired by a recent trip I took with my family to the vibrant streets of Mexico City. There, we indulged in the most incredible tacos al pastor, and I was captivated by the harmonious blend of savory and sweet flavors.

Upon returning home, I couldn’t wait to recreate that magic in my own kitchen. I decided to swap out the traditional pork for chicken thighs, making the dish a bit lighter but still wonderfully juicy and flavorful. The pineapple marinade infuses the chicken with a sweet tang, while the achiote paste and guajillo chili powder provide a robust, earthy depth. This recipe is incredibly simple yet bursting with the rich, authentic flavors of Mexico.

I remember the first time I served this to my friends at a summer barbecue. The aroma of the chicken sizzling in the pan, mingling with the tropical sweetness of pineapple, had everyone eagerly gathering around. The dish was an instant hit, and it quickly became a requested favorite at our gatherings. What I love most about this recipe is its versatility – it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, but it’s also impressive enough for entertaining guests.

Whether you’re reminiscing about a past vacation or dreaming of future travels, this Pineapple Chicken Al Pastor is sure to bring a taste of Mexico to your table. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be hooked!

Making Chicken Al Pastor Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (cut into quarters)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 large onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon achiote paste
  • 2 tablespoons guajillo chili powder
  • 1/2 cup pineapple (chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Cut chicken thighs into quarters and put them in a bowl.

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except the chicken and pineapple chunks.

Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, up to 4 hours.

Marinating Skillet Chicken al Pastor

Before cooking, let the marinated chicken come to room temperature.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the marinade, then the chicken pieces. Grill for 7 minutes per side, until charred.

Add pineapple chunks and remaining marinade, tossing everything together. Cook for another minute before serving.

Serving Skillet Chicken al Pastor

FAQs:

What is the best way to marinate chicken for Chicken Al Pastor?

The best way to marinate chicken for Chicken Al Pastor is to ensure the chicken pieces are well-coated with the marinade. After blending all the ingredients, pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, mix well, cover, and refrigerate. It’s ideal to let the chicken marinate for at least 10 minutes, but for more flavor, marinate for up to 4 hours.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs in this recipe?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, but be aware that thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful. If using chicken breasts, monitor the cooking time closely to avoid overcooking and drying out the meat. Additionally, you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly as chicken breasts cook faster than thighs.

What can I substitute for achiote paste if I don’t have any?

If you don’t have achiote paste, you can make a substitute by mixing equal parts of paprika, white vinegar, and a bit of garlic powder. This won’t replicate the exact flavor, but it will provide a similar color and some depth of flavor to the marinade.

How can I make this dish spicier?

To make Chicken Al Pastor spicier, you can increase the amount of guajillo chili powder or add other hot chilies such as chipotle or cayenne pepper. Additionally, adding fresh jalapeños or serrano peppers to the marinade can enhance the spiciness.

What are some good side dishes to serve with Chicken Al Pastor?

Some excellent side dishes to serve with Chicken Al Pastor include Mexican rice, black beans, grilled vegetables, or a fresh salad. You can also serve it with warm tortillas for making tacos, along with toppings like chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

Is al pastor the same as shawarma?

Al pastor is not the same as shawarma, although they share similarities. Al pastor originated in Mexico and is influenced by Middle Eastern shawarma, which was introduced by Lebanese immigrants. While shawarma uses lamb or beef seasoned with different spices and cooked on a vertical rotisserie, al pastor typically uses pork (or chicken in this case) marinated with Mexican spices and often includes pineapple for a unique flavor.

Chicken al Pastor Skillet Recipe

Chicken Al Pastor

Bring the vibrant flavors of Mexico to your kitchen with this easy Pineapple Chicken Al Pastor recipe! Juicy chicken thighs marinated in a tangy, sweet pineapple sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon achiote paste
  • 2 tablespoons guajillo chili powder
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
 

  • ut chicken thighs into quarters and put them in a bowl.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except the chicken and pineapple chunks.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, up to 4 hours.
  • Before cooking, let the marinated chicken come to room temperature.
  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the marinade, then the chicken pieces. Grill for 7 minutes per side, until charred.
  • Add pineapple chunks and remaining marinade, tossing everything together. Cook for another minute before serving.
Keyword Chicken
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