Friday, December 11, 2015

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken and Macaroni Salad


There's always something happy about eating Hawaiian food. Perhaps it's because the food makes you think of warm, tropical beaches, or maybe it's because the food is so good you can't help but smile. Whatever the reason, Hawaiian food has always been a comfort food for me.

But, how do you get good Hawaiian food when you're landlocked? You make it, of course! And it's easier than you might think. This main dish and classic Hawaiian side are easy to prepare and are family friendly.

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

INGREDIENTS
4 lbs. chicken thighs, wings and drumsticks (bone-in, skin-on )
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 limes, freshly squeezed
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger
salt and pepper


PREPARATION

  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and ginger. Simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  2. With a cooking spray, coat the inside of your crockpot bowl to prevent sticking. Add 1/2 cup of the sauce to the crockpot, and place the rest of the sauce in a separate container for later use.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken and place in the crockpot. Stir in the chicken with the sauce until the chicken is lightly coated (it may seem like there's not much sauce, but it's plenty).
  4. Add the lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is tender.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F. 
  6. Remove chicken from the crockpot and place (with skin up) on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  7. With the sauce you saved from earlier, use a basting brush to coat chicken. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Every four minutes, add another coat of sauce with your basting brush. Remove when the chicken has developed a nice, dark, rich coating of sauce on the outside.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve with white rice and macaroni salad.

Traditional Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp. carrot, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp paprika
salt & pepper

PREPARATION
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until noodles are cool. Place in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add grated carrots, mayonnaise, milk, paprika, and salt and pepper. Stir until the noodles are coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for a couple hours.
  4. Prior to serving, stir well to reincorporate the sauce. If it's too dry, add a little more mayo.

This is a great meal for summer barbecues, as well as ideal for cold winter nights when you wish it was still summer. The chicken is super tender and the sauce is heavenly. And the macaroni salad pairs perfectly with the chicken and white rice.

So, if you can't be in Hawaii, do the next best thing and enjoy some great Hawaiian food any time.
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