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How to Prepare Huli Huli Chicken

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Huli Huli Chicken (turn, turn) is a Hawaiian barbecue meal prepared outside in an oven. Huli Huli Chicken is a summer-time favorite in Hawaii. It used to be bought alongside the road and is usually cooked with boneless chicken, marinated in a special Huli Huli sauce, and seasoned over an open flame.

The meal at the moment is settled in in Hawaiian society. Those who prefer to experience veritable Hawaiian barbecue can still find Huli Huli Chicken at fundraisers, little league games, and distinctive neighborhood events around Hawaii.

The phrase Huli Huli came from the fact that the chicken was turned over repeatedly because it was cooked on a grill.

“Guava wood is the key for a real Huli Huli Chicken,” stated Mike Asagi, speaking at the Kauai Community College Ho’olaulea.

If you want to know more about Huli Huli Chicken, then this article is for you! Keep reading to find out, because there is a lot in store for you!

What Is Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli Huli Chicken is a Hawaiian variant of grilled chicken peculiar to the island of Oahu. The name Huli Huli originates from Mr. Ernest Morgado, who was the original creator of this extremely delicious method of preparing chicken.

The term Huli is the Hawaiian word for “turn,” and this is the key to cooking this recipe. According to legend, Mr. Morgado had first cooked this chicken at a fundraising event and because it was being cooked on a makeshift spit, with the help of a few friends, he used this classic method of cooking meat called “turning.”

Huli Huli Chicken is usually marinated in a sauce with a mix of many ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, and ketchup. The chicken is then left to marinate with the sauce overnight to completely absorb the flavors and the chicken has to be turned over a few times while cooking until the juice is evident and the bones move easily. Each time it is turned, it is seasoned with the sauce to make it even more delicious.

There are many different ways to cook Huli Huli Chicken, but this is the traditional way it is made in Hawaii. Here’s what you may need to marinate the chicken:

Step 1:

Mix together the soy sauce, ketchup, ginger, vinegar, and garlic, then continuously blend in the brown sugar and sesame oil. Put the chicken pieces in a large plastic bag or in a bowl secured with plastic wrap and pour in the sauce.

Step 2:

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 15-20 minutes, turning it over as often as possible and basting it with the extra sauce. Make sure you don’t burn the chicken. Then, briefly put the chicken on the pit to give it a different taste and it’ll certainly taste better.

Step 3:

Once you have cooked the chicken and the juices are clear and the bones move easily, you have prepared a mouth-watering Huli Huli Chicken.

History Of Huli Huli Chicken

After World War II, a man by the name of Ernest Morgado was experimenting with a chicken and a grill. He took a traditional oriental marinade, seasoned a chicken with it, and grilled the chicken.

The aroma was phenomenal and the taste was indeed better. He soon took his new creation to the streets with a grill on the back of his truck. He began barbecuing Huli Huli chicken for neighborhood farmers and fundraising events.

The business developed and, before long, extended to a bigger operation. To this day, there are numerous organizations that claim the original Huli Huli chicken, but a common factor is the use of a wood grilling method and a teriyaki-based marinade.

The term Huli Huli, that is now a universal term to barbecue chicken, was really trademarked by Ernest Morgado. He isn’t concerned that individuals use the term Huli Huli, but he was glad to be the creator of this new method of grilling chicken.

Ingredients And Preparation Of Huli Huli Chicken

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Huli Huli Chicken is made with a marinade that results in a succulent, moist, well-flavored chicken. Freshly marinated, each piece of chicken is turned over the hot koa wood. This method of grilling, coupled with the use of koa wood and a sweet and pungent sauce, is a basic characteristic of Huli Huli Chicken.

The recipe comes from Ernest Morgado of Pacific Poultry. Morgado, who was a chicken farmer, started the Huli Huli Chicken business in 1955 and grilled his chicken to perfection in a makeshift pit using guava wood and a special sauce and it is still cooked today using this same cooking equipment and turning method.

Let us take a look at the ingredients used in making the Huli chicken.

1. Chicken

Marinating the chicken in a flavorful blend improves its taste and adds depth when grilled. The thighs, known for their firm and rich texture, are perfect for marinating and grilling, compared to leaner breast meat.

To marinate, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder and ginger, allowing the chicken to soak for at least 2 hours. Hence, put each marinated thigh on a soaked bamboo skewer and organize them on parallel skewers to prevent spinning and ensure even cooking on the grill.

Shield the tips of the skewers with heavy-duty foil, securing them firmly to avoid burning during grilling. If employing a charcoal grill, cook the chicken over medium-hot coals, whereas on a gas grill, use medium heat.

Grill each side of the chicken for approximately 2–3 minutes until the meat becomes firm and the surface develops a delightful golden-brown color. Present this scrumptiously grilled chicken alongside freshly steamed white rice for a satisfying dinner.

2. Huli Huli Chicken Sauce

This huli chicken recipe has three primary components: the sauce, the grill, and the chicken. I’ll begin with the sauce. Get a saucepan and start heating the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and dry seasonings over medium heat.

At that point, include the tomato paste, ketchup, and pineapple juice, stirring until it’s well mixed. Finally, add the brown sugar, ensuring that the mixture does not boil. Continue this until the mixture is thickened and has a glaze-like appearance.

In case you’re not sure what a huli chicken is supposed to look like, just keep in mind that it’s darker than normal barbecue sauce but not burnt. Don’t be hesitant to tasting the sauce, because it may be a quick way to ensure it is going in the right direction, even if it tastes like sweet and sour sauce.

It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete this step, but times may vary due to different stove ranges.

3. Seasonings

Culinary specialists suggest pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, ginger, and lemon juice in a Hawaiian marinade. Marinate chicken for 2–3 hours and flip every 30 minutes. Use a gentle charcoal fire and grill with patience, turning every 10–15 minutes. Season the chicken each time it is turned and taste a little piece. After an hour, the chicken is cooked. Enjoy the bliss of consumption.

Variations Of Huli Huli Chicken

1. Traditional Huli Huli Chicken

This original way of cooking chicken will always define what huli huli chicken is. So for those who do not need to be ranchers, there’s still plenty of room for variety while keeping up the same basic flavor. Huli huli chicken is now commonly referred to as any BBQ chicken but I think the most excellent form is still the original version.

All varieties are influenced by the original method of cooking that was invented by Ernest Morgado. He used a sweet soy sauce and turned the chicken continually while cooking over a metal pit. This is the present day method used in plate lunch chicken, the direct heat method.

The traditional method includes using a makeshift pit. The pit is generally made of cinderblocks with a metal grill over the top. Hardwood is burned down to coal and the chicken is placed on the grill and turned throughout the duration of the cooking.

This is still the best way to cook it but the most characteristic quality is the use of a specific marinade and seasoning sauce while cooking.

2. Teriyaki-glazed Huli Huli Chicken

Teriyaki Glazed Huli Huli Chicken is a twist on a classic Hawaii favorite. It’s marinated in a sweet, tangy, and savory teriyaki sauce that doubles as a dipping sauce.

The chicken is marinated and then prepared in a delicious sauce which comprises soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, sherry, ginger, and garlic. The Huli Huli chicken is very similar to Teriyaki chicken, just the Hawaiian adaptation. It’s an astonishing combination to Huli Huli chicken at a family get-together. It’s quick to prepare and tastes amazing. This will taste so great, and you can serve the chicken with vegetables, rice, or even in a burger. This will leave a never-ending impression—another great recipe for BBQ with friends and family.

3. Spicy Huli Huli Chicken

This spicy Huli Huli Chicken has a small kick to it with a slight spice added to the sauce.

Spicy Huli Huli chicken is a typical Hawaiian recipe. It is commonly a great way of barbecuing grounded-up or crunchy grilled chicken prepared nicely with garlic, ginger, soy sauce base, and many other ingredients, then slowly cooked while being continuously seasoned with an adequate amount of Huli Huli sauce, on a grill.

This recipe in particular emphasizes a firecracker Huli Huli chicken, with a really tantalizing flavor representing the spirit of Huli Huli. Serving this dish with some coconut rice and grilled pineapple will make it even better!

Huli Huli Chicken, a delicious method of cooking chicken, is popular in Hawaii, with different methods and recipes influenced by the original recipe by Ernest Morgado.

This grilled chicken can be enjoyed with friends and family on different occasions. I hope you try out this meal so you can find out what you have been missing!


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