| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 35 mins
| Total Time: 3 hours
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Huli Huli grilled chicken is a Hawaiian BBQ classic that is easy to make and sure to please a hungry crowd. In Hawaiian parlance, ‘Huli’ means ‘turn’ and this word describes a modified rotisserie BBQ cooking technique that is used to grill the chicken in large batches. Now found in every corner of Hawaii, Huli Huli chicken was first named by native son Ernest Morgado after realizing his teriyaki-style chicken was a massive hit at local farmers’ gatherings. Being a poultry farmer and entrepreneur, Morgado branded his grilled chicken and began selling at fundraisers, roadside stands, and markets. Eventually, his brand became the common name of this dish.
Our recipe allows you to make enough marinade for 2 batches – refrigerate the extra marinade for up to 3 weeks or freeze it to last months. Make this dish using our Aloha BBQ rub as a marinade starter, or you can use the spice blend to sprinkle directly as a dry rub on meats, fish, roasted veggies, and even over rice bowls and in stews for a unique flavor twist.
1 cup water or chicken broth
2 (6 oz) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce or ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or an equivalent amount fresh lime/lemon juice)
2 tbsp Piquant Post Aloha BBQ blend
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated / minced
2 tsp Sriracha or another hot sauce (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 pounds of chicken pieces (any cuts work fine)
Salt & pepper to taste (optional)
To get a well-developed flavor, you’ll want to marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours. However, for maximum flavor, we recommend that you plan ahead and marinade the chicken overnight.
For the classic Hawaiian flavor, fire up the BBQ and grill your chicken. However, if you don’t have a grill, you can oven bake the chicken and it will turn out fine. If you’re using the oven, you can get some of the smokey flavor using the over broiler (high) as a finishing step to achieve a light char. Keep a close eye on the chicken and only broil for 3-4 mins or until you just see the chicken start to char on the surface.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
First, season chicken with salt & pepper and set aside. Then, make the marinade. In a large sauce pot, combine all ingredients. Briefly whisk. Heat the pot on Med-High until just boiling. Reduce heat to Low and simmer uncovered for 8-10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool. (to speed cooling, you can set the pot in a cool water bath with water line below halfway up pot).
Add chicken to a large zipper bag or large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of huli huli marinade to the chicken. Toss to coat. Cover bowl / zip bag and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (up to overnight) for best results. Save extra sauce in a container in fridge (cooked sauce will keep for up to 3 weeks).
If grilling: Add chicken to hot grill. Using 1/4 cup of extra marinade, baste top side of chicken with a silicon brush or spoon. Grill chicken for ~8 mins. Then flip and baste top side again with sauce. Grill 8 more mins or until chicken reaches 165 deg internal temp.
If baking: Pre-heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken on foil and brush/spoon extra marinade on top side of chicken. Cook 25 mins then flip. Add more sauce on top side. Cook for 10-15 mins or until chicken reaches 165 deg internal temp.
Our Hawaiian-inspired Aloha BBQ spice is a versatile blend that works great as a dry rub on any grilled meats. Feel free to sub in your meat of choice into this recipe.
Using the BBQ grill isn’t just for meat lovers. Vegetarians can use our recipe for the marinade to make any number of lovely grilled recipes. Check out this post of 17 vegetarian grilling ideas for inspiration, such as grilled mushroom skewers or zucchini filets. Simply brush the marinade on as a baste of your veggies as you grill them.
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