Sticky Chili Chicken With Hot & Sour Pineapple

October 23, 2019
13 Ratings
Photo by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Reprinted from Nothing Fancy. Copyright © 2019 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. —Alison Roman

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken (legs, thighs, breasts, and/or wings all work)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sambal or other chile paste
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored, cut into 1 1/2–inch spears or wedges
  • 1 shallot or 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, tender leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large resealable plastic bag or large baking dish.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, sambal, fish sauce, lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic in a medium bowl, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the chicken, massaging to make sure everything gets equal love. Seal the plastic bag or wrap the baking dish and let sit at least 30 minutes, refrigerated.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken and pineapple on a rimmed baking sheet (for easier clean-up, line with foil or parchment). Drizzle the remaining marinade over everything and place in oven.
  4. Roast until the chicken is deeply browned, caramelized, and cooked through (if you have a pastry or BBQ brush, feel free to baste the chicken and pineapple periodically with the rendered chicken fat juices), 50 to 60 minutes. By this time, the pineapple will also be impossibly golden and juicy, giving up all the goods, which makes for a delicious, sticky sauce.
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter, carving up the chicken and slicing the pineapple for easier serving, if you like. Scatter with the shallot, cilantro, and sesame before serving.
  6. Do Ahead: Chicken can be marinated 24 hours in advance.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nicole Boone
    Nicole Boone
  • FrugalCat
  • Nancy
  • WnnaBTrvlWrtr
Alison Roman is a cook, writer and author of the bestselling cookbook "Dining In," published by Clarkson Potter in Fall 2017. Her second cookbook "Nothing Fancy," is now available. She is a bi-weekly columnist for the New York Times Cooking section, as well as a monthly contributor to Bon Appétit Magazine. Originally from Los Angeles, she lives in Brooklyn until she decides to move upstate like everyone else.

12 Reviews

Nicole B. February 24, 2021
I really liked this recipe. I marinated the chicken for 24 hours. I did not find the chicken even nearly spicy enough. In the future, I will make more marinade and add more red pepper. I will reduce the part that I don't marinate the chicken with. I will baste it more frequently. I would also put it under the broiler at the end to make it more crispy.
FrugalCat November 30, 2020
I marinated it overnight. I only had thighs, so that's what I used. This came out great- thank goodness I lined the pan with nonstick foil- it was a little messy. I served it with plain rice. Will make again.
aaronwconnelly April 25, 2020
3/5 stars! Love the way the pineapple takes on the intense flavor. Will make again, but will brine the chicken in room temp salt water for 30 minutes, then marinate and cook on the grill, using the sauce to baste.
Tokyojo February 29, 2020
A delicious chicken dish but the sauce and chicken did not become "sticky", just very liquid. I basted the chicken and pineapple and they were golden and moist but definitely not sticky. I watched Alison Roman make the dish on the Today show and she did not add the marinade to the chicken when she put it in the pan, so will try it without the marinade next time, and boil the marinade and brush it on the chicken as it cooks. Well worth trying again!
Laura P. January 27, 2020
Made this last night and loved the simple prep and the robust flavors! Will make again, but incorporating 3 learnings:
- I made 2 large chicken breasts and 2 chicken thighs. The thighs were on the smaller side, so the flesh cooked through before the skin rendered and browned (I solved by searing the skin after pulling out of the oven). Next time I'll do breasts only, or get some larger thighs so that they cook more evenly.
- I also wanted a bit more sauce for the final plating (to drizzle over chicken/rice), so next time I'll make a little more marinade and reduce it a bit to serve tableside.
- Definitely line the pan with tinfoil! My sauce burned as well.
Nancy January 24, 2020
I loved this! The flavors were so amazing and it's just delicious. I used tinfoil to line the pan thank goodness because the sauce burned at the edges quite a bit by the time the pineapple was done. This reduced the amount of the awesome sauce so next time I need to figure how to prevent this. But YUM! Great recipe!
Michelle February 16, 2020
To prevent burning and have some sauce....add about 1/3 cup water to pan after marinade. Just pour a bit in to pan edges and swirl then bake as directed. Keep an eye on the sauce after about 30 min. If drying out or starting to burn....add a bit more water. Or start with a 1/2 cup if you think that will work better.💖
Nancy February 17, 2020
Thank you Michelle! Sounds like a great idea!
AK December 1, 2019
Loved this! Served with some brown rice and cauliflower rice with lime and spring onions as garnish. Goes well with Carmenere.
55 J. October 31, 2019
Excellent recipe. Very good flavors. Full heat might be a bit much. Lime and Pineapple add great flavor. Spring Onions, Cilantro, and Sesame seeds are great finishes. Will add to my regulars..... Complemented with rice.
WnnaBTrvlWrtr October 27, 2019
This was a great, mostly make ahead recipe, but I think 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes is too much. We're not shy about spice, but this was mouth-numbing hot. I served it over jasmine rice, so that provided a little buffer. I'll definitely make it again, but with an adjustment to the pepper flakes.
Pamela E. October 20, 2020
sambal is very spicy so was likely the sambal. Recipe does not specify sweet or spicy chili sauce?