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The Hirshon Ultimate Hawaiian Huli Huli BBQ Chicken

The Hirshon Ultimate Hawaiian Huli Huli BBQ Chicken

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • Brine:
  • 2 quarts bottled water
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 4 chicken halves (about 8 pounds total)
  • ***
  • Sauce:
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple juice
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup white hawaiian honey (preferred) or any cream-style white honey
  • 1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade preferred, low-salt if canned
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. Chinese chili sauce with black beans
  • 2 tsp. green yuzu kosho
  • 1/4 tsp. Kiawe liquid smoke seasoning (preferred) or use mesquite liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbsp. Hawaiian chili pepper water
  • ***
  • Kiawe charcoal (preferred) or mesquite charcoal
  • 1 scallion and fresh rosemary bunch, tied together to make a basting brush
  • Minced scallions for garnish


  1. 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.
  2. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour or up to eight hours – no more.
  3. For the glaze: Combine all ingredients except chili pepper water in an empty saucepan, use an immersion blender to get everything smooth and then bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about one cup), 20 to 25 minutes. When it’s just a tiny bit thicker than you might prefer, add in chili pepper water (use more or less, to your taste), stir and reserve.
  5. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange chicken skin side up on grill. Grill until well browned (not burned!) then huli (flip) the chicken over.
  6. Keep flipping until almost done, then when almost ready, brush the skin with some glaze (using the scallion/rosemary bunch as a brush) you have reserved separately from the rest. This is done to avoid contaminating the glaze you will be using as a dipping sauce.
  7. Cook skin side up for just a minute or two until the chicken is fully-cooked and the glaze has browned nicely. Be careful, there is a lot of sugar in that glaze – it can burn in a SECOND so keep your eyes on it!
  8. Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of the remaining glaze,(reserve the other half for dipping) and let rest 5 minutes. Garnish with minced scallions.