This one pan baked pineapple lychee chicken recipe was inspired by a walk passing by a fusion restaurant.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes Inactive Cook Time: 100 Minutes Serving: 6-8
I try my best to squeeze in a short walk everyday within my 30-minute lunch just to get out and have some fresh air and away from the computer.
One day, there was a sign in front of a fusion restaurant showing the lunch special which was Pineapple Lychee Chicken. Although I have had these 2 fruits countless time separately, I never thought of combining them together.
I went back home and experimented it. It turned out pretty well. But cooking on the stove top is sometimes too much for me, especially with the crazy schedule with my little one. So, I tried it with my favorite method, roasting the chicken in a roasting pan and cook everything in it. Man, oh man....how awesome that dinner turns out.
So, that was my story how I was inspired to put this recipe together. You may not know one of the major ingredients here, Lychee.
Let’s us dive in how fresh lychees look like first.
They grow on trees with a very thin layer of red shell on the outside. The flesh is white with a hard brown pit at the middle of the fruit. The smaller the seed, the better.
In ancient China, Lychee was exclusively for royalty only.
In summer time nowadays, if you travel to southern China in Guangdong province, there are tours for you go into the Lychee gardens and pick and eat fresh lychees. The condition is...you will not bring any out of the garden.
There is a Chinese saying, “The cicadas sing. Time to enjoy Lychees.” It means the lychees are ripe when you hear the cicadas chirping.
There is also a Chinese saying, “A Lychee Fruit, 3 sets of fire”. You may be scratching your head right now. This is related to the Chinese medical theory. It is believed that there is always a balance of everything in our body. If there is too much “heat”, like from too much consumption of Lychees, it will cause some dysfunction or illness in a body. That was the meaning of this saying.
Fresh lychees are available in Asia during its season. However, compared to some common fruits, like apples and oranges, Lychees are still rare. In the West, you may see fresh lychees in the Chinese market. Otherwise, you will see this exotic fruit in cans. And we use canned lychees for this recipe.
For more info about Lychees, check out Wikipedia link.
1 can (14 oz) Pineapple Chunks (drained)
1 can (14 oz) Lychee Fruit (drained)
1 can (4 oz) Pre-sliced Water Chestnuts (drained)
2 Green Bell Peppers (discard membranes and seeds; sliced)
2 Red Bell Pepper (discard membranes and seeds; sliced)
5-6 lbs Skin-On, Bone-In Chicken Breasts, Drumsticks or Thighs
No-stick Cooking Spray
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Superior Light Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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