Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper

Making a play on Sweet and Sour Chicken, kombucha adds a whole new element to the flavors of this Chinese-American dish.  Kombucha is fermented sweet tea so along with the sweetness, there’s a vinegar aspect and a hint of earthiness from the black tea.

The pineapple and bell peppers work amazingly with the honey, soy, and cilantro sauce.  Keeping the vegetables in large chunks retains their crunch and allows you to eat them more easily with chopsticks.  A little chili brings some heat into the mix and the ginger brings a brightness and a burst of flavor.

Everything takes about an hour - when served over saffron rice (recipe below) and with a side-salad, a healthy meal emerges.  

Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple (printable recipe)

  • 6 thighs of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 16 ounces of plain kombucha
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 jalapeno, diced fine
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablesopoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a pan over medium-high heat, add about a teaspoon of oil to cover the bottom and add the chicken, skin-side down.  Sear the skin until it is crispy, about 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is crisping, in a small pot, bring the kombucha to a simmer.  When the chicken is done searing, add it to the pot with the kombucha.  Allow the thighs to simmer for 30 minutes.

Drain the oil and rendered fat from the pan and add the jalapeno, carrot, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, honey, and a teaspoon of salt.  Make sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat down to low and let all of these reduce while the chicken braises.

After 20 minutes, add the pineapple and bell pepper to the pan with the sauce.  10 minutes later, when the chicken is done braising, pull the thighs from the kombucha and add it to the pan with the pineapple and the bell pepper.

Turn the heat to high.  Give everything a few turns to coat the chicken well, about 5 minutes.  Kill the heat, add the lime juice and the cilantro and serve hot over rice.

Saffron rice
Follow instructions for 4 servings of rice from package and add a pinch of saffron (about 10 “hairs”) and a tablespoon of butter.  Be sure to rinse the rice well.


Authordavid koch