Sticky Coconut Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

I am ready for grilling.  Actually I grill year round.  I just brush the snow off the grill and light!  I'm excited spring is on it's way and  I no longer have to brush the snow off the grill  or wear boots to grill in.  

This recipe for Sticky Coconut Chicken is a family favorite and very easy to prepare.  I have prepared this recipe for 50 at a girls camp and it was so easy. 

Start by marinating the chicken breasts.  You will need soy sauce, coconut milk, hot chili flakes and fresh ginger.  Don't use the ground powdered ginger.  Fresh is best.  I LOVE fresh ginger.  The fragrance of the kitchen while you are chopping is divine. 

Before I make the marinade, I want to show you how I cut and store fresh ginger.  If you keep the fresh ginger is the plastic bag from the produce department and throw it in the refrigerator, after a while it will go moldy.  Not good.  I really love to have fresh ginger on hand at all times.  So I by a large chunk.  Make sure it is firm and not starting to dry out or wrinkle. 

With a paring knife carefully peel the outer skin. 

I like to slice them into disks.

Then I slice them into matchsticks.

Put the matchstick slices of ginger in a re-sealable freezer bag.

Label the bag and place in the freezer.  Don't forget to reserve the tablespoon that you need for the marinade.  After the ginger has frozen you can just break off pieces and chop for recipes.  It lasts in the freezer for months.

Finely dice a tablespoon of ginger for the marinade.

Do you remember the ingredients after all of that?  Combine the coconut milk, soy sauce, ginger and chile flakes.

Give it a stir.

Place the chicken in a gallon size re-sealable bag.

Pour the coconut marinade over the chicken breasts.

Make sure all of the chicken pieces are covered well with the marinade.

Seal the bag closed and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  I like to marinate overnight because the coconut flavor goes all the way through the chicken.  The coconut milk, also, acts as a tenderizer and adds moisture to the white meat of the chicken breast.

When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade and place on a preheated hot grill.  Disgard any left over marinade.  Grill chicken breast for about 6-8 minutes per side.   Meanwhile...

Let's make the sticky sauce for the chicken.  You can make this in advance and refrigerate then just heat before serving.  You will need rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and hot chile flakes or crushed red pepper.

Pour the rice vinegar into a small saucepan. 

Add the soy sauce, chile flakes and sugar.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Watch carefully toward the end of boiling because it can burn quite quickly.
Remove from heat. 

Back to the chicken.  Turn the chicken over after about 6 minutes of cooking time.  If the chicken does not release from the grill, just cook a little longer then it should easily release.   Cook another 6-8 minutes and if the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, remove from the grill and let set 5 minutes.

For the garnish.  Chop 4-5 green onions.  I like to use the white part as well as the green.  I just wanted you to see how I store my green onions.  I wash them and place them in a container with a little water.  I cover the tops with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.  If I just want the green tops, I just snip off what I need.  After a few days the green starts to grow back.  Can you believe it?  I have been able to store green onions like this for over 3 weeks.  

I like to garnish with sliced green onions and black sesame seeds or "Ninja food" (my son told me that black sesame seeds are what Ninja's eat.  Is that true?)

I like to slice the chicken and put in on the serving plate, drizzle with sticky sauce then garnish with the green onions and black sesame seeds.   Serve with white rice and grilled pineapple, which I'm going to do next.

Start with one ripe pineapple.

Cut off the top.

Save the top for Grandpa.  I'm sure you're wondering why I save the top for Grandpa?  Well, my dad plants the tops.  Yep, he just sticks the top of the pineapple in some potting soil and starts to water it.  Now this particular top has seen better days, but it doesn't matter.  Eventually it will start to grow.  Some day this man is going to grow pineapple in Utah!  My mom and dad have lived several years as missionaries in Tahiti.  Everytime my dad gets a pineapple plant large, they leave on another mission and put me in charge of watering the pineapple plant.  After about 6 months it dies.  I'm a terrible daughter.

Back to the pineapple.  Now cut off the bottom.  No need to save.

Cut down the sides.  Make sure you remove all those little brown things.  They hurt your tongue.

I'm cutting my pineapple into spears.  Cut it in half. 

Then cut the halves into quarters.

I like to remove the center core.

Slice into spears.

Put half of the pineapple in a re-sealable bag.  Reserve the remaining pineapple spears or just eat them.  That's what I plan on doing.

Pour a 1/2 cup coconut milk over the pineapple and reseal the bag and refrigerate with the chicken.  I like to marinate overnight so the the coconut flavor penetrates the pineapple.

I like to put pinepple on the grill after I have turned the chicken over for the first time.  You can put the pineapple directly onto the grill, if you want.  I love this new nonstick aluminum foil by Renolds Wrap called Reynolds Release.  Awesome stuff!  The pineapple will not stick to the foil.  It's great.

After 3-4 minutes turn over the pineapple.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  The pineapple is sweet enough so you really don't have to spinkle on the brown sugar.  I just love the deeper flavor and the carmelization of the brown sugar.

Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.  Watch carefully so the pineapple does not burn.  Remove from the grill. 

I have sliced the pineapple into rings then after grilling placed a scoop of coconut ice cream on top.  Divine!

Serve along the side of sticky chicken.  That was a lot for one day.  You can now start purchasing fresh ginger.  You can slice and store it for later uses AND you can cut and grill a pineapple. 

Sticky Coconut Chicken

4-6 bones, skinned chicken breasts
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot chile flakes
4-5 green onions, chopped for garnish

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry and place in a large re-sealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix coconut milk, ginger, soy sauce, and hot chile flakes. Pour mixture over chicken breasts. Re-seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night.

2. Lift chicken from bag. Grill over medium heat. Close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning as needed to brown on both sides, until meat is no longer pink in center of thickest part approximately 10-12 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to a warm platter and pour sticky sauce over meat. Garnish platter with green onions.

Sticky Sauce

¾ cup rice vinegar
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot chile flakes

In a 2- to 3-quart pan combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until mixture is reduced to ¾ cup, 8 – 10 minutes. Pour over grilled chicken. Can be made ahead and refrigerated to up to 1 week. Reheat before using.

If by chance you are a pansy and don't like a little spice, you can adjust the hot chile flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.

Coconut Marinated Grilled Pineapple

1/2 ripe pineapple
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Peel and cut pineapple into spears, rings or desired shape. Place the pineapple in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour coconut milk over. Re-seal and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Place the marinated pineapple on a hot grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes. Turn the pineapple and sprinkle with brown sugar. Grill an additional 3-4 minutes or until the brown sugar begins to caramelize. If you put the pineapple directly onto the grill grates, be sure to watch carefully so the pineapple does not burn.


  1. GORGEOUS! Just gorgeous. This one's going on the menu for next week.

  2. Janet, I am Charees's neighbor and love her cooking and now I know where she gets it from. I love good quality food and love to cook too and am SOOO excited about your blog. I made the sticky chicken and it was AMAZING! Extraordinary flavor with such simple ingredients!!One of my favorite chicken dishes ever! I also served it with some edamame and it was perfect! Thank you so much for sharing your blog and your talent! I can't wait to try more of Janet's recipes (and to get all of the awesome kitchen tools like yours).

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed the sticky chicken. It's a family favorite. I have 30 years of collecting kitchen "toys". I get more excited going into a cooking store than I do a shoe store. There's something wrong with me. Thanks for being a follower!

  4. Janet, I don't know if you know this, but my husband is one of the pickiest eaters I know. He eats no vegetables--unless they are potatoes, canned green beans, or spinach salad. He has a hard time with a lot of flavors and textures aside from that too. I made this for dinner tonight--prepared exactly as directed--and he devoured it and declared it a 10 out of 10 star recipe, which means it can go in the recipe box. I am a huge Thai/Asian food fan (he is not), so this was a great way for us to meet in the middle. A great recipe. Thanks.

  5. My husband is the pickiest in my family. It drives me crazy! I've stopped cooking for him. Ryan has come a LONG way. I feel your pain. Keith has improved, but not much over 30 years.

  6. Janet, we made this last night, and though our chicken didn't look as amazing as yours, it was very good. But the sticky sauce was AMAZING, and I even opted for the pansy version. :) I could probably eat that on anything and be happy. Thanks. Can't wait to try more.

  7. Oh ya, that sticky sauce is fabulous! Tiffany wants more "Season" dresses! When are you starting your "Tiffany" line.

  8. Yummy! Many thanks for post. Awesome idea. Have a good day!