Hawaiian Barbecue Huli Huli Chicken

Huli Huli Chicken

Huli huli chicken is finger-licking good Hawaiian barbecue. Huli huli means turn turn in Hawaiian, a reference to the original Hawaiian method of cooking the chicken on a rotisserie.

The sticky-sweet huli huli sauce has an Asian, teriyaki twist and is made mostly of pineapple juice with ketchup, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, honey and garlic. I’m totally in love.

Most versions use both a brine and a glaze. To make things easier I throw together a big bowl of huli huli sauce and split it equally. One half is used as a marinade and the other half is cooked down to make a finishing glaze-slash-dipping sauce.

The thing about the sauce is it will start to burn because of all the sugar in it. If you use quick-cooking chicken cutlets, the char won’t be so bad. With that said I like the charred burnt sugar parts. Very much. You can use bone-in chicken if you prefer.

There’s also pineapple and red onion kebabs. The glaze is so so so good with the pineapple. I can’t wait to try it on some other types of grilled vegetables and maybe even some tofu or shrimp.

I might just huli huli my entire summer away.

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

Hawaiian Barbecue Huli Huli Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings

Hawaiian Barbecue Huli Huli Chicken

Huli huli chicken is finger-licking good Hawaiian barbecue.


2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1/3 cup organic ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of red pepper flakes
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 + 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or cutlets (you can also use bone-in)
cubed pineapple
red onion, cut into thick slices


    At least 2 hours before cooking:
  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk all the sauce ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Remove half of the sauce to a separate bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate - this will be the glaze/dipping sauce.
  3. Pound out the chicken breasts to an even thickness on a cutting board between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet.
  4. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl with the sauce, turning to coat well. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours up to 6.
  5. When ready to cook:
  6. Add the sauce you set aside earlier for the glaze to a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then maintain a slow simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Meanwhile preheat your grill on high heat. Thread the pineapple and onion with skewers.
  8. Grill the chicken (and kebabs) on both sides until cooked through to an internal temperature of (164 - 175 degrees F.). Discard the marinade the chicken was in.
  9. Remove the chicken and kebabs to a large platter and baste the tops with the hot glaze. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest 5 - 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with the leftover glaze for dipping.


Adapted from Hawai'i Magazine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved.


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