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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
with pineapple / asparagus / rolls

Active: 35 min Total: 55 min
Huli Huli Chicken is made with a sweet and sour marinade that contains enough sugar to caramelize as it grills. Serve this Hawaiian-style chicken with sweet Hawaiian rolls on the side - they're great served separately or feel free to serve the chicken right on the rolls as sandwiches if you prefer.
Smarts #1: The sugar in the marinade can have a tendency to burn easily, so watch it closely as it cooks and move the chicken off the heat as needed.
Smarts #2: If you're using the grill, you can add the pineapple spears to the grill for a couple minutes at the end of cooking, which will help to draw out the pineapple's natural sweetness.
Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Huli Huli Marinade:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, fresh - 2 tsp, grated
  • Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Ketchup - 1/4 cup
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/4 cup
  • Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken:
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Huli Huli Marinade (ingredients listed separately) - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Hawaiian rolls, store-bought - 8 (look for these lightly sweet, Hawaiian-style rolls in the bakery section or use any type of roll or bread)
Grilled Asparagus and Pineapple:
  • Asparagus - 1 bunch, trimmed
  • Pineapple, fresh - 1 lb, sliced into spears
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Garlic / Ginger - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make marinade - Whisk together garlic, ginger, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar. Heat in the microwave just until the brown sugar dissolves, 30 to 60 seconds. Let marinade cool. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Marinate chicken - (If prepping right before cooking and using a grill, get grill heating while chicken is marinating.) Combine chicken with first portion of Huli Huli marinade. Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Asparagus - Trim asparagus. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Pineapple / Green onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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Make

  1. If cooking on a grill: Heat grill to 425F / 218C, keeping one part over direct heat and one part over indirect heat.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Toss asparagus with cooking oil and season with some salt and pepper.
  4. If cooking on a grill: Brush grates with some oil and place chicken over direct heat. Cook chicken on both sides to lightly sear. As the chicken cooks, brush it with second portion of Huli Huli marinade. Move chicken to indirect heat and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, 165F / 74C degrees. Place asparagus over direct heat and grill on all sides until tender, 4 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of spears).
  5. If cooking on stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sear on all sides until tender, 6 to 8 minutes (depending on thickness). Set asparagus aside and return pan to heat.
  6. {stovetop}: Reduce heat under pan to medium and brush with some oil. Add chicken and sear on both sides until grill marks appear. Brush chicken all over with second portion of Huli Huli marinade and again sear on both sides. Reduce heat to low-medium and cover chicken with a lid or foil. Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through (165F / 74C degrees).
  7. Transfer chicken thighs to a serving plate or cutting board and let them rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  8. If you’d like the rolls warm, heat them briefly in the microwave or toast them.
  9. Squeeze lemon juice over asparagus.
  10. Serve chicken with green onions on top and asparagus, pineapple, and rolls on the side. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (74)
Gluten-free (10)
Paleo (10)
Vegetarian (7)

Most Helpful

Love the marinade (however I used half of the sugar it called for and used coconut sugar instead of brown) and the BBQ Pineapple was amazing

By: Myrta
Posted: Jun 18, 2020
Diet: Gluten-free
1 Helpful

65 reviews

Really good and really easy!

By: Kimberly
Posted: Aug 15, 2021
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

I used this sauce on boneless pork spare ribs and it was SO GOOD. I sadly forgot the bread rolls but did make a little coconut rice. Will definitely make this again.

By: Kait
Posted: May 17, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Love the marinade. Was good for my daughter who can be picky. Next time I would substitute chicken breasts for thighs. (Thighs were definitely tasty, but for kids, breast meat is preferred).

By: Elizabeth
Posted: May 13, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was fine, but not the cooksmart level good I've gotten used to. Made on the stovetop, so might be better on the grill.

By: Sarah
Posted: Apr 28, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This became a huge family favorite! We cooked this at least 4 times in the last few months. The marinade is great and the kids love making little sandwiches with the chicken and Hawaiian rolls. This is somewhere between BBQ and teriyaki and is extremely easy to throw together.

By: Cameron
Posted: Sep 16, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Surprise rave from my whole family. My kids can be hard to please, and we often throw bbq chicken on the grill, but the combination of this marinade and using chicken thighs for the cut made a world of difference. Will be repeating regularly while grilling season is still here.

By: Judith
Posted: Sep 07, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful