Huli Huli Chicken – Get Your Hula Hula On

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There was a spot of sun that made its way into my atmosphere and instantly I was mentally transported to thoughts of a sunny Hawaiian day. To celebrate my instant move from the land of water and more water (Northern California had the most rain it has had in 100 years!) to sunny skies a Hawaiian BBQ was in order. With inspiration from my friend in Kawaii, Kat, and few pointers from ‘Cook’s Country Magazine’ a feast was made. The menu will be revealed these next few weeks, so stay tuned:

– Huli Huli Chicken

– Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

– Mint-a-fied Sugar Snap Pea Salad

– Gourmet Krispie Treats

To get this succulent and crispy chicken fired up, you will need some lead time. The good news is that both the brine and the glaze can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days. DO NOT brine chicken more than 8 hours or it will become VERY SALTY.

Huli Huli Teriyaki-Style Chicken (Turn It, Turn It Chicken)

Chicken Brine Ingredients

2 quarts (8 cups) water

2 cups low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS vegetable oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBS ginger, fresh grated

4 split chicken halves (2 chickens approx 8 lbs)

Chicken Glaze Ingredients

3 (6 oz) cans pineapple juice

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup rice vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBS ginger, fresh grated

2 tsps **** Asian black bean chili sauce

2 cups mesquite wood chips (soaked in water for 15 minutes)

CHICKEN & BRINE

When buying the chicken, ask the butcher to cut it lengthwise through the breast bone. In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant, approximately 30-60 seconds. In a large bowl or soup pot, combine water and soy sauce. Stir ginger and garlic into soy mixture. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered for at least 1 hour and no longer than 8 hours.

GLAZE

In a large-size sauce pan combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and chili-garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thick and syrupy, approximately 20-30 minutes. You should end up with 1 cup of sauce.

GET GRILL READY

Drain water out of wood chips, seal in a foil packet and cut vent holes on top.

If using a gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner. Turn all burners to high and cover until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, approximately 15 minutes. Turn all burners down to medium low. Scrape and oil cooking grate.

If using coals, light approximately 75 coals. Open bottom vents on grill. When coals are covered with fine gray ash, spread evenly over bottom of grill. Place foil packet directly on coals. Put cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent halfway open until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, approximately 5-8 minutes.

GRILL CHICKEN

Remove chicken from brine mixture and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange chicken, skin-side up on the grill being careful not to place chicken directly above foil packet. Grill covered until chicken is well browned on bottom and has an internal temperature of 120 degrees. Cooking time will be approximately 25-35 minutes. Turn (or huli) chicken, skin-side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is crisp and thigh meat registers 170-175 degrees. This should take another 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, bush generously with glaze and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Use remaining glaze at table when serving chicken.

Serves 6-8.

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