Meals / sides

“This really is tropical sunshine and happiness on a plate! I was inspired by the vibrant flavours of a pineapple chow – a zesty and spicy Caribbean salad – and came up with these mouthwatering and colourful kebabs. Rather than mayonnaise I’m using a sweet-spiced pickled dressing for the slaw, which is delightful with the fresh flavours. Adjust the chilli content to suit your taste – these can be served mild and fruity or hot and spicy.” – Ainsley Harriott.

Serves: 6


1 x 200ml tin coconut milk

¼–1 Scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

4cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp honey

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

A dash of Caribbean hot pepper sauce 

2 tbsp chopped coriander

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5cm pieces

1–2 red peppers, de-seeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces

1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 2.5cm chunks

Oil, for spraying or drizzling

Sea salt 

For the fresh coconut slaw:
½ red or white cabbage, shredded

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, coarsely grated

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

3 tbsp sugar

1 Scotch bonnet chilli

4 whole allspice (pimento) berries

1 large papaya, de-seeded and diced

50g coarsely grated fresh coconut (or coconut flakes)

A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

A handful of mint leaves, chopped

½ lime, for squeezing


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut milk, chilli, ginger, garlic, honey, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce and half the coriander.
  2. Remove a quarter of the marinade and set aside for basting later.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat well. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, for the slaw, put the cabbage, onion and carrot in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, chilli, allspice berries and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the cabbage and mix well. Leave to cool, then toss through the remaining ingredients with a good squeeze of lime. Check for seasoning, cover and chill until needed, removing the whole chilli and allspice berries before serving.
  5. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow the meat to come up to room temperature.
  6. Preheat a barbecue or griddle pan over a medium-high heat.
  7. Thread the chicken onto 6 skewers, alternating with pieces of red pepper and pineapple. Drizzle or spray with a little oil and place directly on the grill on the hot barbecue or straight onto the griddle pan. Cook for 10–14 minutes, turning and basting with the reserved marinade every few minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden on all sides.
  8. Serve the chicken and pineapple skewers scattered with the remaining coriander, and the slaw on the side. Enjoy with a glass of rum punch!

Recipe from ‘Ainsley’s Good Mood Food’, published by Ebury Press. Photography © Dan Jones. Check out more recipes like this on Ainsley’s Instagram and website.

Chicken Pineapple Skewers Coconut Slaw
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