I’m back with a recipe post!
And not just any recipe post…a really delicious and unique one!
I love Pinterest as much as the next girl, but I’m starting to feel like I see the same recipes over and over again every time I go there for inspiration.
It’s like we’re all using Pinterest to find recipes and we all end up blogging and sharing the same stuff.
Well, I don’t think you’ll find this meal on Pinterest.
Or almost anywhere else for that matter!
I was introduced to this dish back in 1996 on a missions trip with my high school youth group.
And it wasn’t to Indonesia!
We went to Mexico to help a medical mission, but our youth pastor’s wife made this meal for us that week and I’ve loved it ever since!
None of us had ever had anything like it and many of us were doubtful.
Pineapple and chicken and coconut and celery and cheese?
Are you kidding me?
THIS MEAL IS NO JOKE.
Somehow it just works.
You’ll have to trust me on this.
The flavors in this dish come together in an amazing way that pleases even the most skeptical eaters!
If one of the ingredients is something you absolutely can not stand you can, of course, omit it.
But if you have an open mind about all 10 items, you should definitely serve up your plate with everything and prepare for the flavor party in your mouth!
I love making this meal because even though it seems complex and fancy, it’s actually very simple. There are 10 components, but many of them don’t require any prep work.
I remember everything I need for this dinner by running down the list in my head, making sure to have a total of 10 things:
2. Chicken or Turkey
3. Green onions
8. Cheddar cheese
9. Curry sauce
10. Chow mein noodles
Don’t you dare read “curry sauce” and think this isn’t for you!
I MEAN IT!
People who don’t even like curry enjoy this dish.
Somehow all of the flavors combine and curry is the last thing on your mind.
You notice the gooey cheddar and the sweet pineapple and the rich peanuts and the sharp green onions and the tender chicken and the crispy chow mein noodles.
You wonder why this tastes so good even though you were cynical about the recipe.
I double dog dare you to make it.
Just try it. All ingredients included if at all possible.
I just know you’ll like it!
If you don’t, well then I’m sorry.
Maybe we shouldn’t be friends.
Just kidding :)
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- 1½ cups rice, cooked
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 3-4 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 15 oz can of pineapple chunks in JUICE
- 1 small can lightly salted peanuts
- 1 small bag shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 small can chow mein noodles
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup (I normally NEVER use canned cream soups because they are full of junk, but I haven't worked out a substitute for this recipe yet so I just get over it!)
- ¾ cups pineapple juice (all the juice from a 15 oz can of pineapple chunks)
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon curry powder (just plain old yellow curry powder from the spice aisle at the grocery store - I use Kroger brand.) I know this seems like a lot, but trust me. Use it all. It won't be spicy or over-seasoned!
- 1 cup chicken stock or water (I reserve 1 cup of the water I poached the chicken in)
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- Cook chicken, or shred previously cooked chicken - a rotisserie chicken would work well here. I always poach chicken breasts by adding them to a pot of water and boiling for about 15 minutes or until they are cooked through. Then I reserve 1 cup of the "chicken water" to use when making the curry sauce.
- While rice and chicken are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Slice green onions and celery.
- Open and drain pineapple (saving all the juice for making the curry sauce)
- Open the coconut, peanuts, chow mein noodles and cheddar cheese.
- To make the sauce, add 2 cans of cream of chicken soup to a shallow saucepan. Add pineapple juice and whisk to combine. Add cup of chicken stock or cooking water and continue to whisk to fully incorporate. Add curry powder a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition to fully incorporate.
- Heat over medium-low until the dish is ready to serve. Keep a lid on the sauce while it's simmering so that a gross "skin" doesn't form on the surface.
- Right before serving, I usually turn the sauce up to medium heat so that it is hot enough to melt the cheese.
- Layer all ingredients starting with the rice, then the chicken, the other veggies/fruits/nuts and finish with the curry sauce (as much as you like) and lastly the chow mein noodles.