Foodie Friday: Huli Huli (Hawaiian) Grilled Chicken

Joanne Pimentel

Huli huli chicken is a Hawaiian favorite!! It’s Tender chicken marinated and smothered in a tangy, sweet and savory sauce, then grilled to perfection! I made this for a gathering over the weekend and my family just loved it!! My hubby said this recipe brings him back to Hawaii🌴!

2 1/2 – 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut in half
20 oz can sliced pineapples (reserve 1/2 cup juice for marinade)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced

In a bowl mix together 1/2 cup of canned pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic and a few dashes of black pepper.
Remove and reserve 2/3 cup of the marinade for basting.
Add chicken thighs to the marinade and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Place reserved marinade in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let simmer until thickened, about 1 – 2 minutes.
Preheat outdoor grill to high heat. Place chicken on grill, cover and cook for 6 – 7 minutes. Flip chicken over and baste occasionally.
Cover and cook for another 6 – 7 minutes. Place pineapple slices on the grill and cook 3 – 4 minutes per side.
Serve with rice/macaroni salad.

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

Need an upgrade for the same old, same old grilled chicken? Kick it up without adding fat. The fresh flavors of lemon and herbs make this a beautiful bird dish!


For 4 people

1/2 cup(s) olive oil

2 2/3 floz freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup(s) soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 teaspoon(s) fresh oregano

1/3 ounce(s) fresh rosemary

1/3 tablespoon(s) fresh basil (optional)

1 teaspoon(s) salt

1/4 teaspoon(s) black or lemon pepper

4 ounce(s) chicken, halved, or 4 small chicken pieces, like thighs and drumsticks

1 olive oil spray (for use during cooking)


Wash chicken and place in a large Ziploc bag.

Squeeze lemon juice; add zest (the yellow portion of the peel) for extra flavor. Combine remaining ingredients with the lemon juice and place in bag.

Refrigerate for several hours (up to 6 hours), turning occasionally. Place chicken on broiler rack, skin side down or on grill; keep chicken about 7 inches away from heat.

If grilling, set chicken on opposite side of the coals to avoid flare-ups. At start of cooking, brush chicken with marinade, then discard marinade.

Note: For extra flavor, sprinkle chicken liberally with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder just before cooking.

Substitute lemon pepper for the black pepper, if available, for an extra zesty kick. Broil or grill chicken for 20 minutes or until browned on one side, avoiding flare-ups.

At this point, spray the chicken lightly with olive oil spray; then turn it to the other side and spray again. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until chicken is done (juice no longer runs pink).

Variation: Wine vinegar may be substituted for the lemon juice. If fresh herbs are not available, substitute 1/2-3/4 teaspoon dried.

Serve garnished with sprigs of rosemary and a lemon wedge.

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