Spencer’s all time favorite chicken from the grill is Huli Huli Chicken! When we lived in San Pedro, CA years ago, we became addicted to eating at this Hawaiian-fusion chicken restaurant called Maui Chicken. It was so yummy and hands-down one of our favorite places to eat!
We decided to research Hawaiian Chicken recipes to make our version to enjoy at home and stop eating out so much! We tried a couple of different recipes and always came back to this one. Spencer finally asked asked us to stop tweaking it, as it was delicious as-is. I guess once you have it perfected, you need to just leave it alone?? Hmmmm, who knew??
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken on the Big Green Egg
We have learned a few tips while grilling Huli Huli Chicken.
- Make sure you cook this on direct heat. You will want the marinade and chicken to sear. Not only will it leave pretty grill marks on the chicken, but it adds a lot of flavor to the meat.
- Don’t rush it. Give the grill plenty of time to heat up before throwing these on. I was impatient once and the meat was thoroughly cooked before I was able to sear it.
- Make sure you brush on the marinade near the end. It adds a last bit of wet and delicious flavoring before it is removed.
When this comes in off of the grill, Jason has a landing spot on the island where all the grilled meat rests as he is running back and forth. Within seconds of this meat hitting the counter, Spencer mysteriously appears with his fork and knife in hand. Every. Single. Time. It’s hilarious!
People often ask if they have to use chicken thighs and the answer is “no” – but you do lose some of the tenderness and flavor. I have tried this recipe with chicken breasts and it’s just not the same.
Cooking the Huli Huli Chicken on the Big Green Egg definitely helps to keep the meat juicy. We have used this recipe with gas grills, but the results are not as good.
So much Asian food is made with chicken thighs. Come on now, let’s give those thighs some love! They are juicy and delicious!
In a rush? While the recipe calls for marinating the chicken for six hours, we have done it in as little as two hours. The resulting flavor wasn’t quite as robust, but it can work in a pinch. Don’t let last-minute-dinner-guests stop you from trying out this mouth-watering recipe.
- 1 c brown sugar
- 3/4 c ketchup
- 3/4 c soy sauce we use low sodium
- 1/3 chicken broth substitute water if you don't have any
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 12-18 chicken thighs
- Mix all ingredients in bowl except for chicken. Reserve out 1/3 c of marinade to use later.
- Add marinade and chicken to zip lock bag and seal tightly. Put in fridge for 6-8 hours.
- Discard marinade in bag and grill chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until a good sear develops.
- During last couple of minutes on second side, use the reserved marinade and brush the chicken.
- Cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 165 degrees
- Protect freshly cooked chicken from hungry children!