August 10, 2011

Chicken Thighs and Pineapple Relish

Cooking Light created a party on a plate and they’ve invited you to all join in. And eat. And enjoy. Party hats optional, but dancing pants required.

Thanks to a little blogger love from the wonderful magazine, I get some of their latest dishes before they go to print. And the best part is that I can then share them with you. It’s like looking into a culinary crystal ball and seeing your dinner future. Which, this week, is a quick fix of Southwestern Chicken Thighs topped with a snappy Pineapple Relish.

Beyond being glad that they didn’t call it “fiesta chicken,” I was also immediately in love with this recipe’s ingredients: chicken thigh, ground cumin, garlic powder, cider vinegar, and pineapple? What’s not to like? The answer is a rhetorical “nothing.”

The recipe required very little reworking to make it low-sodium. You can actually just remove the salt from the original. But to super boost the already super flavors, I also decided to brown the corn and caramelize the pineapple (in a very hot nonstick pan) before mixing it into the relish. It adds some nice color and a smoky taste.

And do you have a grill? Because I don’t. So I know from personal experience that this recipe is also easily adaptable for your stove top. I just cooked the chicken in the pan in a bit of olive oil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin inside was nice and white.

If you want even more tips on how to make this delectable dinner, then check out the adorable video featuring my good friend Ms. (are you Mrs. now?) Fishman. And surprise yourself or a honey with this fast but fiercely impressive meal.

Cook light and chow on.

recipe adapted from


  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple (about 1/2 pineapple), optional to charr first in a hot skillet
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 ear), optional to charr first in a hot skillet
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


1. Heat a nonstick grill or frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, you can brown your corn and then caramelize the pineapple (in two separate steps) for a bit of extra color and flavor; about 5 minutes in the pan for both.

2. Then combine the garlic powder, cumin, and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle the rub over the chicken pieces. Add chicken to pan (adding a bit of oil if needed) and cook for 10 minutes on each side or until the center is no longer pink.

3. Meanwhile, combine the corn, pineapple, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve relish over chicken.

Christy Ellingsworth (@DailyDishTweets) August 14, 2011 at 9:38 am

What’s wrong w/ Fiesta Chicken?! Makes me want to put on my extra-fancy dancing pants (the ones with the neon ruffles on the seam) and shake my maracas!

This recipe looks SO HONKIN GOOD. Must buy a pineapple and try it out this week. And good call w/ the added step – so smart!

PS: love your green camping knork (fife?)

sodium girl August 15, 2011 at 8:04 am

I knew I could count on you to wear dance pants, Dishy!

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