Most of the time, my perfect snack is good old chips and salsa. It's got that salty crunch and spicy goodness that I crave pretty much on the daily. But when regular salsa just doesn't sound appetizing, I usually whip up some pineapple salsa instead. It satisfies my sweet tooth without me breaking into the cookie jar, but still delivers a kick with just the right amount of heat to balance it all out.
I'll be honest with you; a little behind the scenes secret, if you will. This post was originally supposed to only be about the pineapple salsa. In fact, if all you get out of this rant is "Pineapple Salsa is amazing and great and I need it in my life right this second" that was the plan and my initial goals have been reached. But as I was shooting this lovely looking salsa picture above, I was violently struck with the idea to serve it with Blackened Chicken. Here was my thought process...
"Man, this looks so good right now... These shots are turning out great!... Okay I'm going to eat a bite right now, they won't be able to tell a little bit is gone... OH I should mention in the post that this is great if served with Blackened Chicken!... OHMYGOSH I'm going to make it right now and include it!"
This thought process should probably win me all the awards, my friends. Because I PROMISE you, that this combination is that worthy of your praise. I had to put my shoot on hold after I snuck a small bite [because I just have to be true to myself and you and admit that :) ], so I could text the husband a pic with the caption "THIS IS YOUR LUNCH TOMORROW AND I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL YOU TRY THIS!"
Blackened Chicken doesn't mean Charcoal Chicken; no burning of the chicken is allowed! When the term "blackened" is used in cooking of meats, it simply means a combination of spices and herbs is used for a rub. The combination of the spices gives the meat a reddish-black color, thus the term "blackened"! There! You've learned something today! It's as simple as rubbing the chicken with the Blackening Rub and baking it in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or grilling it if you're feeling fiery.
But hey, if all you want right now is a big bowl of the Pineapple Salsa and a bag of tortilla chips, I can't be mad at that. That is pretty much all I want every day.
[BUT REALLY THOUGH, YOU WANT TO TRY IT WITH THE CHICKEN. I PROMISE.]
Blackened Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 20oz can of pineapple tidbits
- 1/4 small red onion, chopped
- 1/3 medium jalapeno
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain juice from can of pineapple, then combine all pineapple salsa ingredients. Cover and refrigerate so flavors can develop, until chicken is done.
2. Mix chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts. Sprinkle half the bowl of dry rub over both chicken breasts, then rub gently to stick to chicken and cover the top with seasonings. Flip chicken over, and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning on bottom side of the chicken, rubbing again.
3. If baking, place chicken breasts on a foil lined and lightly sprayed baking sheet and place in the oven. If grilling, lightly spray grill with cooking spray and place chicken on grill when hot. Grill/bake for about 25 minutes, or until you cut into the thickest part of a breast and it is JUST SLIGHTLY pink (the chicken will continue to cook as it rests. This is how you get perfect and tender chicken). Remove chicken from heat, and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
4. Slice chicken and serve with pineapple salsa on top. Serve immediately.
5. ENJOY and post with #perfectleehungry.