Huli Huli Chicken

From Cook's Country | June/July 2009

Why this recipe works:

Authentic Huli Huli Chicken is continually basted with a sticky-sweet sauce and “huli"-ed, which means “turned" in Hawaiian. We wanted to find a way to make this sweet, smoky, burnished bird at home.For the teriyaki-like sauce, we developed a version with soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger,… read more

Authentic Huli Huli Chicken is continually basted with a sticky-sweet sauce and “huli"-ed, which means “turned" in Hawaiian. We wanted to find a way to make this sweet, smoky, burnished bird at home. For the teriyaki-like sauce, we developed a version with soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and lots and lots of pineapple juice—reduced until it was thick, glossy, and sweet. To mimic a Hawaiian rotisserie, we used a moderate number of coals spread in a single layer over the entire grill. The direct heat rendered the fat and crisped the skin, but the chicken was far enough from the coals to avoid burning. Most Huli Huli Chicken recipes instruct cooks to marinate the chicken in the sauce, but with so much sugar, it burned every time we grilled the chicken. Our solution was to use only soy sauce, water, and sautéed garlic and ginger as a brine. We grilled the chicken skin-side up to render the fat, and then turned it skin-side down to finish cooking and to crisp the skin (just one turn sufficed).

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Serves 4 to 6

Split chicken halves are whole chickens that have been split in two through the breastbone. Buy them at the market or see page 31 for instructions on how to prepare them yourself. Lee Kum Kee Tabletop Soy Sauce is our favorite supermarket brand.

Ingredients

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