Easy Grilled Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Will Have You Drooling by Chef Gigi

Poultry Grilling Dinner
9 months ago

Easy Grilled Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Will Have You Drooling

This Hawaiian Huli Huli grilled chicken's mouthwatering, sweet but savory, glossy glaze and caramelized edges will have you drooling! I can never wait to get this chicken dinner off the grill to eat. Huli denotes "turn" in Hawaiian and refers to the time-honored technique of cooking this with a grilling basket, turning it over and over on hot, scalding coals. This Hawaiian Huli Huli chicken recipe will make you ready to get out the grill and start, well, grilling!

Here is your shopping list for this easy grilled Hawaiian chicken recipe: boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cooking oil, pineapple juice in a can or bottle (see Recipe Notes below), fresh ginger, garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, sherry or Chinese cooking wine, brown sugar, sriracha, vinegar and toasted sesame oil. The chicken marinates first, then is grilled until seared on the outside and juicy on the inside. Serve this easy Hawaiian chicken dish with steamed rice and creamy Hawaiian macaroni salad.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus time to marinate
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes plus time to marinate
Servings: 6


  • 4 pounds boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts



  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
  • pineapple slices, grilled

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Recipe Notes

  • Although delicious, it's not the best idea to use fresh pineapple juice sold in the fridge or to puree your own using fresh pineapple. Fresh pineapple contains a robust natural enzyme called bromelain that acts as a tenderizer and will make your chicken rubbery. Bromelain is eradicated in preparing pineapple juice for extended shelf life. Therefore, using any form of pineapple juice sold in aisles, not in the fridge section, will be a better bet.
  • As for marinated the chicken, I've made it both ways, with and without an overnight marinade. I feel it's a bit saltier with the overnight, but still delicious. If I'm not letting it sit overnight, I usually allow 20 minutes to bathe in the flavors.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Mix marinade ingredients together. Set aside 1 cup for basting. Pour the rest over the chicken in a container, coat the chicken with the marinade and cover. Marinate for 24 hours if you can in the refrigerator. 
  2. Preheat the outdoor grill to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the liquid. Oil the grill and place the chicken on the hot grates. Grill for side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden adjust heat if browning too fast, turn and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Baste generously with reserved marinade, then flip and cook for another minute. The sugar in the glaze will burn quickly, so keep your eye on it. Add pineapple to the grill for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Continue to grill, turn and baste until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the protein registers 165 degrees F for thighs or 160 degrees F for breast meat. Remove and plate chicken on a serving plate garnished with green onions and the grilled pineapple. 

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Elisa Schmitz
Oh, yes please, Chef Gigi ! Love a tropical chicken dinner like this. Happy Happy!! :-) #yum

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