When I was a girl in Hawaii, I remember driving around the island with the windows down and suddenly the car would be filled with the most mouth-watering smell of BBQ you can imagine.
This isn’t your normal Texas BBQ. This was Hawaiian BBQ.
Local street food. Grills lined with chicken basted in Huli Huli sauce would sit in the parking lots of businesses, beaches, & parks. It’s near impossible to resist buying 10 lbs of chicken to satisfy your craving!
Huli Huli means “Turn Turn” in Hawaiian. This is in reference to constantly turning the chicken on the grill and basting it with the huli huli sauce. This method of grilling creates layers of caramelized crust on the chicken.
I love using chicken leg quarters for this recipe. Chicken leg quarters are often on sale in my grocery store for just $.57 per pound!!! I make 10 lbs of chicken for less than $6! You can’t beat that.
The key to this recipe is marinating.
Similar to the Chinese BBQ Pork Char Siu recipe I shared with you a few days ago, you need to marinate the chicken at least 12 hours. 24 hours is better in my opinion.
Allowing the meat to sit in the marinade for so long allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat. I promise you can tell the difference when you marinate the chicken for a full 24 hours!
Reserve 1 cup of the marinade in a container for basting on the grill. I like to add 1/4 cup of water to thin out the marinade. and pour it into a squirt bottle for easy & mess free basting on the grill.
Serve the Huli Huli Chicken with rice, pineapple, & grilled veggies. The local Hawaiian foodies serve rice with every meal. I also use a little of the marinade to top off my rice instead of soy sauce. It’s so good!
Huli Huli Chicken
- 5 lbs Chicken Leg Quarters or Thighs
- 1 cup Lite Soy Sauce
- 1 cup Ketchup
- 3/4 cup Chicken broth
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp Garlic, finely diced
- 2 1/2 tsp Ginger (ground or fresh)
- 1/4 cup water (to thin marinade if needed)
- Combine soy sauce, ketchup, chicken broth, brown sugar, garlic, & ginger in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Place meat in a zip-close plastic bag or in a container with a lid.
- Reserve 3/4 - 1 cup of marinade in a small container for basting.
- Pour remaining marinade over chicken, making sure chicken is submerged or covered by marinade.
- Marinate for 24 hours.
- Heat grill to 350˚F
- Remove chicken from marinade and place on the grill.
- Every 15 minutes flip the chicken and baste with marinade.
- Remove chicken when the internal temperature reaches 165˚F. Approximately, 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook.
I love making this recipe on our pellet grill. We are obsessed with grilling throughout the year and make this recipe at least once a month.
This is also a really affordable recipe to BBQ for a crowd as chicken leg quarters are so inexpensive and a whole leg quarter is more than enough meat for most of your guests!
Amy Desrosiers says
I love sweet and savory chicken like this! Sometimes I make my own sauces similar to this recipe if I am feeling in the mood!
Brianne Tursi Manz says
I’ve heard Hawaiians do an awesome barbecue. This is a recipe I’d love to try! The caramelized glaze looks amazing!
That chicken looks really good. Chicken is one of my favorites. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe.
This looks delcious! Since we usually only buy white chicken breast and they are boneless and skinless… would those work or should we use skin on for this recipe?
Keikilani Jackson says
This would absolutely work on chicken breast!
I have everything that’s needed to make this. I am always looking for new ways to prepare chicken.
I love crispy chicken so much! And this one look so mouthwatering!
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
I am sure my family will love this!
I love Hawaiian flavored food. Your chicken looks delicious!