Friday, May 1, 2009

Huli Huli Chicken

We loved this chicken. You know when people are fighting for the last piece of chicken that you've made a pretty tasty dish and its an added bonus when its your picky kids fighting with everyone. The sweet yet spicy flavor was very appealing. There was just enough spice for those who like spice and just enough sweet for those who liked sweet without either flavor being overwhelming. The recipe called for bone-in chicken parts with skin but I went with boneless skinless chicken breasts. I figured I saved some on calories and fat by going without the bones and skin. This recipe came from the newest issue of Cook's Country, the June/July 2009 issue.

2 quarts water
2 cups soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 split chicken halves, (about 8 pounds total)

3 (6 ounce) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce
2 cups Mesquite wood chips (soaked 15 minutes)

Brine chicken: Combine water and soy sauce in large bowl. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce mixture. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour or up to eight hours.

Make glaze: Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce in empty saucepan and bring boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about one cup), 20 to 25 minutes.

Prep grill: Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vents on grill. Light about 75 coals. When coals are covered with fine gray ash, spread evenly over bottom of grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grills, place foil packet directly on primary burner. Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium low.) Scrape and oil cooking grate.

Grill chicken: Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange chicken skin side up on grill (do not place chicken directly above foil packet). Grill, covered until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Flip chicken skin-side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is well browned and crisp and thigh meat registers 170 to 175 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of glaze, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

Make ahead: Both the brine and the glaze can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Do not brine the chicken for longer than 8 hours or it will become too salty.

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  1. This sounds like my kind of chicken. Where do you find the Asian chili garlic sauce? I've never heard of it.

  2. I saw this recipe in Cook's Country and wanted to try it so I'm glad to know you liked it (and that it worked to sub boneless, skinless chicken). Yum!

  3. Oh Melanie I tried several recipes from the newest issue of the magazine. I'll be featuring them over the next few days.

    Heidi- I found it in the Asian section of the grocery store. Near where the soy sauce and all that is.

  4. A few quick things:

    1- In a pinch, you can use Tabasco's garlic sauce (figure ½ tsp. vs. 2 tsp)
    2- Sometimes the "Asian chile-garlic sauce" will not say "Asian chile-garlic sauce" on the label (might say "sriracha" or "sambal" etc.)
    3- If you can get it, Dole's fresh pineapple juice works a LOT better. The acids in the juice, when canned, give it a "tinny" taste. Also, the enzymes that help tenderize the chicken are cooked out by the canning process.
    4- Add a little of the pineapple juice to the marinade (say, a couple of ounces).

    Love the blog!


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