Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Cottage Recipe: Huli Huli Chicken

One of the things I miss about not being in a house with a yard is a barbecue. With hints of sun finally appearing after what feels like a month (or more) of rain, all I want is to be able to stand outside and cook my food.

On the second floor apartment without a balcony, this dream gets deferred until I'm at the cottage. Over the May long weekend, I knew there was no way I was going to let the throngs of mosquitoes that like to come out at the dinner hour keep me inside. And, as much as I hate applying DEET, sometimes, you've just got to make the hard choices.

I chose flank steak, burgers and Huli Huli Chicken. And, in spite of the DEET, I have at least 5 bites around my ankles.

But, I stand by my decision. The chicken was worth it.

 Huli Huli Chicken is one of those fantastic Hawaiian recipes that has about a million variations. The short? Barbecued chicken marinated with (amongst other things) pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. We chose to spice it up considerably with the sriracha.

Huli Huli Chicken

(adapted from Norah's Menus)


4 cups water
1 cup soy sauce (I like to use low sodium here)
½ tablespoon vegetable oil (you can use sesame if you like)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1" knob fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

2/3 cup pineapple juice (the fresher, the better)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cup ketchup
2 tbsp cup rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1" knob ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoons sriracha

1 cup each applewood and hickory wood chips (soaked 30 minutes)


1. In a large, nonreactive dish, whisk together the marinade ingredients (water,  soy sauce, oil, ginger and garlic). Add chicken and marinate for at least an hour, but no more than 8. The chicken will be too salty if you let it sit for longer.

2. In a saucepan, stir together sauce ingredients (juice through sriracha). Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced to approximately ½ cup. This will take anywhere between 20-30 minutes. Set aside.

3. Using tinfoil to create foil packages for your wood chips. This step is essential in creating a smokey chicken. It really makes the dish. The size of the package doesn't really matter, so long as the wood is packed in nicely. Cut several slits in the top of the package so the smoke can escape.

4. Place foil package on bbq burners (Norah has great instructions if you're using other kinds of barbecues), and fire up the grill, with all elements on high. While the grill is heating up (and preferably before the wood is smoking), oil the grill. I find the easiest way to do this is to dip some paper towel in oil and use tongs to swab it across the grates.

5. Once wood packet is smoking, reduce elements to low on all sides and place chicken on grill. Move quickly, because you don't want the smoke to escape. You can discard the marinade at this point.

See that sweet smoke? Hello flavour country!
6. Depending on the thickness of your chicken (and your cut), grill for about 15 minutes (8 per side), or until internal temperature registers 165ยบ. Resist the urge to peek at the chicken. You'll be paid off by flavour in the long run. Brush with sauce and let brown for 1-2 minutes extra. Serve with any extra sauce.


adventuresindinner said...

Oh my! I think that I would happily drink this sauce.

misscarolb said...

I made this last night and my fiance LOVED it!! We don't have a bbq so I just cooked the chicken on our George and it was still delicious. This one's going in my recipe box - thanks for the great post :)

Alyson said...

Awesome! I'm so glad to hear it!

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