Huli Huli Chicken has a cool history and an even better taste. With a homemade marinade and short cook time, you’ll make this a staple dish in your meal plan!
The History of Huli Huli Chicken
Legend has it that the name Huli-Huli came quite by accident. A man named Ernest Morgado barbecued mass quantities of chickens between two grills. When one side of the chicken halves was cooked, someone would shout, “huli,” which is Hawaiian for “turn.”
Morgado liked the name “huli-huli” so much that he registered the trademark with the Territory of Hawai’i in 1958 and the federal government in 1965. How cool is that?
How to Make Your Own Huli Huli Chicken
What do I need to get started?
Of course the main ingredient is the chicken. Any part of the chicken will work beautifully with this dish, so I say choose what you like best. I prefer bone in chicken breasts, legs or thighs, and I’ll tell you why:
- Any time you cook with the bone in you will have not only more flavor but the meat is more tender, and
- Grilling with the bone in allows for more cook time which allows for nice deep grill marks.
It’s all in the Marinade
The marinade is more of a sauce consistency, very liquidy. It is flavored with pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, some garlic, ketchup, wine, and soy sauce.
It is sweet from the pineapple, smoky, tangy, and fruity all at the same time. I used chicken thighs for this recipe and marinated in a glass baking dish for a few hours. You’ll be surprised how much the chicken soaks this up.
Here’s what you will need:
- Pureed pineapple
- White wine
- Chicken broth
- Tamari (organic soy sauce)
- Brown Sugar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Olive oil
Mix all the ingredients for your Huli Huli chicken, and simply add it to a Ziploc bag that has your chicken in it. Save about a half cup for basting throughout the cooking process.
You can marinade your chicken for an hour up to over night.
Cook your Huli Huli Chicken
In order to get a true Hawaiian BBQ flavor in your Huli Huli chicken it simply must be grilled. Turn the grill on high heat and allow it to get nice and hot for about 5 minutes. Carefully place the chicken on the grill and cover.
The trick to getting perfectly cooked and flavorful chicken is to turn them every 5 minutes or so, basting in between. If you are unsure whether the chicken is cooked through, stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part with a meat thermometer.
The chicken should have an internal temperature of 160° to 165°.
What do you serve with this delicious BBQ chicken? Why, Hawaiian pineapple fried rice of course!
The most delicious, harmonious blend of ingredients that will whisk you away to a Polynesian luau in Hawaii.
- 1 Large package chicken thighs, wings, breasts (or combination)
- ¼ Cup pureed pineapple (pulse about ½ cup fresh pineapple in a food processor with a Tablespoon or 2 of water)
- 1 /3 Cup white wine
- ½ Cup chicken broth
- ¼ Cup Tamari (organic soy sauce)
- ¼ Cup ketchup
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried Ginger
- 1 – 2 drops Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- Wash chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large baking dish or bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients for the marinade together in a small bowl and pour ¾ of it over the chicken and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, although overnight is best. Reserve ¼.
- Bring the remaining ¼ marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and gently simmer to reduce it until it is thick and glossy.
- When ready, place the chicken over a grill that has been preheated to 400°F . Grill the chicken over medium/high heat for about 40 minutes (if using bone in thighs), turning and basting with the reduced marinade until chicken is done.
- Pour any remaining marinade over the chicken just before serving.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS:
HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE