My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guava Chicken

Grilled Guava Chicken
Guava Chicken! Want to eat like you're on vacation when you can't actually "be" on vacation? Just put together this quick and scrumptious Hawaiian style guava chicken! The guava nectar gives the chicken a nice flavor, keeps it moist and gives the chicken an island flavor.

We recently went on a vacation to Hawaii for my brother's wedding. (That is PARTLY why I haven't posted any new recipes to the blog for a few weeks. I was out of town and then I ended up breaking my wrist in 4 spots and having surgery while on vacation. After returning home and going right back to work.... I didn't feel like typing! I kind of got into the vacation mode and didn't use my computer or phone on vacation so it took me a while to get back into the grind! Everything is healing nicely and I am not complaining...just letting you all know why I haven't been updating the blog recently!) While we were in Hawaii, I had this absolutely wonderful dinner of guava chicken, coconut rice & slightly spicy steamed veggies.

I have since re-created the dish so that I could make it at home. We really like the flavor the marinade gives the meat. It's a subtle flavor. Paired with the sweet coconut rice and slightly spicy vegetables, it makes a great meal. I have also substituted pork for the chicken with great results. This recipe is very versatile and you can tweak it to work with the flavors you like or what you have on hand. I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts but if they aren't on sale then I have used chicken with bones (I peel off the skin so the flavors reach the meat) and I have used pork chops. I prefer using boneless butterfly cut pork chops but I will use what I have on hand.

We personally love coconut rice so I generally make it as the side dish with guava chicken. However, depending on our guests...I might change that to either a garlic rice or fried rice. Not everyone likes coconut rice although I can't figure out why! We love coconut at our house!

This chicken (or pork) can be cooked several different ways. You can marinade it overnight and put it on the grill, you can throw all the ingredients together without marinading it first and put in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or in the pressure cooker for fast cooking (cook according to the instructions in your pressure cooker manual. Each brand is slightly different and mine is an older model so I don't want to give you wrong instructions for your pressure cooker). You can even bake it in the oven. I like recipes that are so versatile.  The photos I included today aren't great and I will do my best to get some better photos and include the different cooking variations.

Guava Chicken Recipe:
  • 3-4 pounds of chicken (or pork). I personally like to use boneless, skinless breasts OR boneless butterfly pork chops but you can use whatever cuts you prefer.
  • 1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice (This is a spice blend that you can generally find in the spice section or the Asian section of your grocery store. I bought mine at the Asian market and it is really flavorful. If your 5 spice blend isn't as pungent then you may need to add additional 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (If you don't have sea salt you can substitute regular table salt)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder - NOT GARLIC SALT!)
  • 2-3 tbs. minced onion (or you can substitute 1 tbs. onion powder - NOT ONION SALT!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used raw sugar but you can use regular sugar)
  • 2 tbs. gluten free soy sauce (If you don't have this then just leave it out. This doesn't make that much of a flavor difference in the dish. The main flavor is the guava and the Chinese 5 spice)
  • 1 carton of guava nectar, about 32oz (or you can use 16 oz. frozen concentrate mixed to directions). Most of the guava nectars can be found in the refrigerated section or freezer section of your grocery store or sometimes you can find the Goya brand in the non-refrigerated section on a shelf. Ask your grocer if you can't find it. Sometimes they will stock it in the Asian or Hispanic section of the grocery store. Living in Arizona, I can find it easily...even at our 99cent store!
I like to pierce my chicken or pork pieces with a fork so the flavors will get inside the meat and really give it some flavor as it is cooking. Mix all the ingredients together (except for meat) and stir well. If you prefer to grill your meat then I recommend marinading the meat for at least 4-6 hours before grilling so the meat can soak up the flavors. If you don't marinade for at least 4-6 hours before grilling then the flavors won't shine through. (You can avoid marinading for hours if you are cooking in the crock pot or pressure cooker).

If you are cooking your chicken (or pork) in the crock pot then just pour the marinade over the chicken and cook for 6-8 hours (low temperature). You don't need to marinade it for hours first. The flavors will infuse when cooking it for hours. If you are cooking in the pressure cooker then just place your chicken in the pot and pour the ingredients over top and cook according to your pressure cooker instructions. (My pressure cooker is an older model so I don't want to give you instructions for mine that would be incorrect for your newer model. Refer to your instruction manual or look up your manufacturer instructions online if you can't find the manual. Most manufacturer's put manuals online for your convenience in case you lost them). Again, you don't need to marinade for hours before cooking in the pressure cooker. The flavors will infuse during the steaming process. I love my pressure cooker and crock pot and use them both frequently. It makes the meat moist and it's ready when I get home from work! If you don't have a pressure cooker, crock pot or grill....this recipe can be baked in the oven at 350 degrees for about 55-65 minutes (or until chicken juices run clear when poked with a fork) in a 9x13 pan or casserole dish that either has an oven proof lid or one you can cover it with foil to keep the meat moist while cooking.

This chicken is always a hit when we have guests. I recently took a large pan (half filled with guava chicken and the other half with guava pork) to a funeral luncheon. It was the first thing gone and everyone was asking for the recipe. (I have been asked multiple times this past week for the recipe so I decided I had better update the blog so people can get the recipe on here rather than me writing it out dozens of times!). Another great idea is to double the ingredients and put half of the chicken (or pork) along with the marinade in a freezer bag. Let it sit overnight in your refrigerator so flavors can blend well and then pop it in your freezer to use on a later date. 

Guava Chicken (grilled)

Guava Chicken (Grilled)

Guava Chicken (Grilled)

(Grilled Guava Chicken, see how moist inside?!)

Guava Chicken (Pressure Cooker)

Guava Chicken cooked in pressure cooker (See how moist?)

Coconut Rice side dish....yummy!

I hope you enjoyed this super easy, very versatile and absolutely delicious recipe! It is a dish that makes me smile and feel like I am on vacation!

Gluten Free Casually

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