Baked Huli Huli chicken

huli huli chicken

We recently got back from an epic trip to Maui, where we ate and explored all the way around the big side of the island. (You can read more about that here). The best classically Hawaiian thing we ate: Huli Huli chicken. I’ve been craving this tender, tangy, sweet, charred chicken ever since we ate it on a picnic table from a stand near Koli Beach. It’s one of those staples of Hawaiian cuisine that’s made a million different ways and all are pretty perfect. My recipe is the lazy cook’s attempt at recreating what we had on the beach. Since I don’t have a grill or rotisserie, I cooked my chicken over a rack in the oven and then set it under the broiler to get that charred look and flavor. I used the juice from canned pineapples and cooked some of the pineapple chunks with the chicken for a little sweet sidekick. Seriously, so good. And this recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s another one of those crowd pleasers that you can whip up without much work. Super bowl, anyone?



1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice from canned pineapples
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons tabasco

2 pounds whole chicken legs, thighs, drumsticks or a combo of both
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 red onion, sliced


In a medium sized bowl, whisk all the ingredients together, minus the chicken. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for basting.

Add the chicken thighs and sauce to a ziplock bag and marinate at least 2 hours. For the most flavor, marinate overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 400°F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a cooking rack over a cookie sheet (this will catch the drippings).

Place the chicken in the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes on one side. Then flip and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink inside.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, warm the remaining marinade on medium-high heat until it’s slightly reduced, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside.

Right before pulling the chicken out, turn your broiler to high and cook the chicken under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the top is slightly charred.

Remove the chicken from the oven and baste with the glaze. Serve and thank me later.