“Huli” is a Hawaiian term for “turn”. Originally, huli-huli chicken was made on a grill with a spit and those watching the chicken being cooked would shout “huli” when the chicken was turned.
I don’t have a grill with a spit, so I used my electric grill; you can use your outdoor grill or even try using the broiler on your stove.
I enjoyed my Huli Huli chicken with charred kale and brown rice. You should try this recipe and let me know what you think of it.
A couple notes:
- Sugar on the grill: You will notice in the recipe, that I kept the honey and ketchup separated from the marinade. I did that to reduce the issue of sugar burning on the grill.
- Over-tenderization: Like many versions of the marinade and glaze for huli huli chicken, I included pineapple juice. Please note that fresh pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme that tenderizes meat by dividing proteins like collagen. Most store-bought pineapple juice is pasteurized which deactivates bromelain. Leaving your chicken too long in the fresh pineapple juice with bromelain will cause too much tenderization, resulting in an odd texture.
Huli Huli (Hawaiian) Chicken
- 2 1/2 Lbs Chicken Legs/Thighs skinless
- Oil for Grilling
- Slices of Fresh Pineapple optional
- 1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
- 4 to 6 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp Ginger grated
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tbsp Thyme
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 Cup Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl; set aside about 1/4 Cup of marinde. Combine the remainder of marinade with chicken in a bowl or freezer bag. Marinate for least one hour or overnight. Note: If you’re using fresh or unpasteurized pineapple juice do not marinate the chicken for more than a couple hours.
- Combine the reserved marinade with the honey and ketchup; refrigerate. This will be your glaze.
- Heat and grease grill. Remove chicken from marinade; shake off excess marinade. Place chicken on the grill; occasionally turn and baste chicken with glaze. Continue until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165 F. At the same time, grill the pineapple.
- Enjoy with your favorite sides like brown rice and vegetables.