Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Huli Huli Chicken

In case I forget to mention it, we are leaving for Maui in two weeks!!

As always, we are super excited to live with Aloha and experience all of our favorite Maui treats and also try some new adventures.

One of my favorite Maui "smells" is the Huli Huli Chicken that is grilled most weekend days along the Honoapiliani Highway between Kahalui and Lahaina.  Hawaiians have a strong connection to family and cooking, but I had no idea of the history behind this recipe.

Ernest Morgado began cooking up batches of teriyaki chicken for a group of farmers in 1955 and soon became the Huli-Huli Chicken "King".

He died at age 85 in 2002, but not before becoming a respected business man and community leader who changed the face of charity fund-raising when he came up with the chicken idea.  

Back in 1955, he was head of Pacific Poultry and he barbequed his first chicken at a farmer's meeting.  The gathering expected to be fed and the unprepared Morgado, decided to broil some chicken with teriyaki sauce (his mother and grandmother's recipe) and the farmers loved it.  Realizing he had a hit on his hands, he began to market the teriyaki chicken.  

When the idea hatched, he decided that the new product needed a catchy name, and he created Huli-Huli with Huli the Hawaiian name for "turn".  

Morgado barbequed the mass quantities of chicken between two grills and when one side of the chicken was cooked, someone would shout, "huli".

The name Huli-Huli was trademarked in 1958. School and church fundraisers make thousands of dollars a year all over the Islands selling Huli-Huli Chicken.

If I can't pick up some road side Huli-Huli in Maui, I think I will cook up a batch when I get home!


Huli Huli Chicken


1/3 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Pin
1-2 TBS Sesame Oil
1-2 TBS Grated Ginger
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 TBS Worcestershire
Squeeze of 1/2 Lemon


Mix all ingredients and reserve half the marinade.  Don’t be fussy about measuring. Jus’ do ‘em to taste. 

Morgado’s exact recipe is a trade secret. But here’s one I found on the web.

The recipe is enough for about three chickens, split in half.  You can use chicken pieces if that’s what you have. Marinate your chicken for at least a half-hour.

Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade while cooking over a grill. And don't forget to huli the chicken.

Finally, feel free to invite us over to share in the Aloha spirit!

Recipe courtesy of Hawaii Magazine
Images from Google Images