The last stop on our homeschool "trip" around the USA is Hawaii. In searching around for Hawaiian recipes, I found Huli Huli chicken, which is the Hawaiian version of BBQ chicken. The BBQ sauce is actually quite similar to teriyaki sauce, but with the unlikely addition of ketchup. I developed this Hawaiian-inspired recipe for Huli Huli Chicken last week, and my family absolutely devoured it. This is a recipe we'll definitely be coming back to again and again.
Huli Huli Chicken
12 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 cup ketchup (We love Annie's organic ketchup!)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sucanat
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1&1/2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and rasped (or minced very finely)
1/4 tsp dried cayenne pepper
6 skin-on chicken thighs, preferably non-GMO
Sunflower oil, or other high-heat oil, for greasing the sheet pan
At least 8 hours before dinner, prepare the marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, stir well, and give a few minutes for all of the dry ingredients to dissolve and become incorporated.
Stir up the marinade and reserve 1 cup which will be used to make the basting sauce.
De-bone the chicken thighs. There is a simple tutorial here that shows how to remove the bones. (I save and freeze the chicken thigh bones until I have accumulated enough of them to make a pot of homemade chicken bone broth.)
Cut the de-boned chicken thighs in half. This allows the chicken to have more contact with the marinade and also allows it to cook faster.
Nestle the chicken into the remaining marinade, making sure the chicken is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for ~8 hours (and refrigerate the reserved marinade as well).
About 35 minutes before dinnertime, remove the marinating chicken from the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Make sure the oven rack is around the second rack of the oven from the top, not too close to the broiler but also not down in the lower half of the oven.
Put the reserved cup of marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer ~15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to easily coat the back of a spoon.
Generously grease a baker's half sheet pan with sunflower oil.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange it on the sheet pan, skin side down.
Once the oven is preheated, place the chicken pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven, baste the chicken with the thickened sauce, and flip the chicken over. Baste the chicken again and place back in the oven.
Set the oven on broil and allow the chicken to cook for 6-8 minutes. The broiler will nicely crisp up the chicken skin, but be sure to watch the chicken CLOSELY to make sure it does not get burned.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes before serving. If desired, the remaining thickened sauce can be served alongside the chicken.
Serve and enjoy! Nutrient-dense white rice would make a great side dish for this meal.
Do you have a favorite Hawaiian-inspired recipe?
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