I spent six weeks in Peru. And in Peru, they don't have barbecue sauce. If you know Annalise, you know that this is a big deal.
I visited McDonald's for the first time out of homesickness and the comfort "normal" food can easily give in that regard. As I was ordering my McNuggets, I could have sworn I heard the words "barbecue sauce" escape her mouth (albeit in Spanish) and my love for Mcdonald's skyrocketed in that moment. Sadly, that day, there was no barbecue sauce sauce next to the aji de gallina, thus I ate my McNuggets in contentment and attributed it to the language barrier.
A few weeks later, with a shortened lunch break and knowledge of the fact that restaurants in Peru take about twice as long to bring you your food, I stood in Gato's Market in the Plaza de Armas and spied it: a bottle of barbecue sauce. I debated for some minutes before caving, purchasing it, tucking it in my bag and marching proudly to McDonald's, excited to consume some McNuggets with barbecue sauce. I got to McDonald's, ordered, and....she handed me two packs of barbecue sauce with my meal.
Fast forward a few weeks and here I am in Costa Rica, with a bottle of unopened barbecue sauce, a kitchen (at last!), and an abundance of the most melt-in-your-mouth, juice-dripping-down-your-chin delicious pineapples you will ever find. The following meal is the result:
Barbecue Pineapple Chicken
I placed two laaaarrrrge chicken breasts in what was supposed to be a casserole dish, but was metal and electrocuted me several times. These I drenched in the precious barbecue sauce (I imagine this would have been better with honey barbecue or some sort of tropical fruit-themed one) and 1 bottle of pineapple juice bought at the store. If you are not in a place that has corner markets overflowing with fruit (sorry, friends) canned pineapple could also work, and the extra juice from the can would be placed in the pan. I then looked up recipes for baked chicken, but wisely called up my mama to gather her opinion first. I ended up placing the whole thing, covered in tin foil, in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375 ish (ish because I had to convert to Celsius). Then I pulled it out, checked it, placed fresh pineapple slices on top and placed it back in for another ten to allow the pineapple to become even more juicy (if that's possible?). We served it with corn on the cob (not very good here) and sauteéd zucchini (very good here, particularly when topped with cheese).
The verdict: the pineapple CAN be juicier, and that bottle of barbecue sauce was totally worth it. Also I'm going to live in Costa Rica and eat tropical fruit for the rest of my life. See you at the beach.