Hawaiian Huli-Huli Chicken With Teriyaki Sauce

As popular as this is in Hawaii, it is surprising that the dish hasn't become more popular on the mainland. Let's change that!

The story of Huli-Huli Chicken is fascinating, and I tell it on the page devoted to the recipe for the sauce. It reminds me of the story of Cornell Chicken, another regional marinade and recipe that is required at every cookout and fundraiser in the region.

Makes. 1 whole chicken or enough for 2 to 4 people

Takes. Making the marinade takes about 30 minutes, marinating takes 3 to 24 hours, and cooking takes about 30 to 45 minutes


1 cup Huli-Huli Sauce

1 (3 pound) chicken cut into quarters or equivalent parts


1) Make the sauce first.

2) Pour it in a large bowl, or better still, into a large zipper bag. Add the chicken. Marinate for at least 3 hours, as long as 24 hours. As you can see in my article on marinades, they do not penetrate far. But if you have read my article on brines, you know they do penetrate. The fun part of this recipe is that the Huli-Huli sauce contains a lot of soy sauce, which is salty. So some of it will penetrate. And it also makes a nice glaze when basted on during cooking.

3) Set up the grill for 2-zone cooking and preheat it so the indirect side is about 325°F. Pour the marinade into a sauce pan and bring to a boil to pasteurize it so it can be used for basting. Keep cooking until it reduces significantly, perhaps 25%.

4) Roast the chicken with the lid down on the indirect side of the grill. Huli it (turn it) frequently so the sugar in the sauce doesn't blacken. After turning, paint the upper surface with a layer of the sauce.

5) Take the meat's temp, and as it approaches 150°F, after about 30 minutes, stop basting so you don't contaminate the cooked meat with juices in the marinade from the brush. Discard the sauce. Move the meat over the direct heat, skin side down to crisp the skin. Flip it every minute or two to make sure it is not burning. When the white meat is 160°F and the dark meat 170 to 175°F, you're ready for your luau.

huli-huli chicken

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