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Hawaii chicken with vegetable rice

I have to admit, the COVID-19 lockdown is starting to get increasingly harder. Last week was especially hard for me mentally. Every day feels like the same, and time is flying so fast. The fact is that we've been in lockdown for over a year. I feel isolated and lost all motivation towards work, hobbies or household chores. Until... On my second day on the couch, I got a text from my Hungarian friend, Ria. An invite to dinner and board games. Just what I needed: social interaction!

Ria and I met some years ago through science. We found out that we went to the same university in Hungary, but never met until she came to do an exchange in Copenhagen and we were introduced to each other by other scientist friends. What a pleasant coincidence!

Recently, Ria got married to a Dane and moved permanently to Denmark, so the board game night was a good excuse for us to visit their new house for the first time. She prepared a delicious vegetarian ragout, but just to please the meat eaters she also made Hawaii chicken, which is essentially chicken breast baked with pineapple slices and cheese. Before you start judging us, yes, we are the type of people who love pineapple on their pizza, too. I think it is because the salty taste of meat pairs very nicely with the sweetness of pineapple, and greasy food goes generally well with something slightly acidic, i.e. pickles or fruit.

At dinner, Ria told us that she is a child of divorce, so when she and her sister were kids their dad was eager to cook food that did not require a lot of time or fuss. And Hawaii chicken is exactly that, so it became a classic dinner in their family. And now that I have tried it, I think it will be a classic in my repertoire as well! ;) Disclaimer: the dish is most likely called Hawaiian because it contains pineapples, I have no idea if people in Hawaii make this kind of food, sry. :D

The original recipe calls for ham under the pineapple slices, but Ria swaps this for ketchup.



For the Hawaii chicken

600 g chicken breast filet, sliced

200 g gouda cheese, grated

300 g canned pineapple, sliced

1 Tbsp butter


salt, pepper

For the vegetable rice

125 g basmati rice

100 g frozen peas

2 carrots

1 tsp turmeric

salt, pepper


Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels, season thoroughly with salt & pepper. Fry chicken on butter, for about 3 minutes on each side. Once done, move chicken to a heat resistant baking tray, drizzle with a bit of ketchup, lay pineapple slices on top, and sprinkle with a loooot of cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for about 10-15 min until the cheese melts and starts browning. Do not bake too long to avoid drying out the chicken.

Peel and chop carrots into small cubes. Add rice to a saucepan and pour cold water on top until the water is about 1 knuckle above the rice. Add a pinch of salt and simmer together with carrots, covered on low heat, until most of the liquid has disappeared. Mix in peas, remove from stove, and let rice stand covered for another 5 min. Mix in turmeric, season with salt and pepper according to taste. I like to sprinkle with chili flakes to add some heat.

Ke aloha! :)



Find the original recipe in Hungarian here.

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Julia, a recent PhD graduate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology who now works as a Medical Writer in Scientific Communication. I was born in Subotica (SRB) and am currently based in Copenhagen (DK). 

I'm passionate about experimenting in my kitchen and all about turning family recipes into stories.

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