Sunday, November 4, 2012

Huli Huli Chicken--my way (makes 15 chicken thighs)


This recipe is inspired by the huli huli chicken from Hawaii.  The term "huli huli" means turn, turn. This recipe may seem to contain a lot of ingredients but it's worth the trouble.  If you prefer to spice this chicken up then you may add finely minced hot chili peppers such as jalapeno, Thai bird, habanero or even Scotch bonnet!!  This will surely make you sweat and cool you down!

Ingredients:

15 pieces of chicken thighs (almost 8 lbs)
1/3 C finely minced lemongrass (or from 1 large stalk)
1/2 C chopped scallions (or 3 scallions)
Zest of 1 lime
2 minced shallots
5 minced garlic cloves
1/4 tsp grated ginger
3 Tbsp mirin  
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or according to your taste)
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice

Method:

1) Wash the chicken thoroughly with cold water, drain, and trim off excess fat.
2) Mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium size bowl.
3) Either use a large zip lock bag or a large dish and add the mixture to the chicken.
4) Marinade the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
5) Grill at 325-350 F for 25-30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

marinade for at least 1 hour
(overnight is better)
grill the chicken pieces
*I like to trim off some excess fat from the chicken pieces.  However, I like to keep a little on.  The fat will burn off on the grill and it will add flavor to your chicken.  I like to grill my chicken with the skin on to prevent the meat from drying out.  
*If you can buy chicken that is all natural without preservatives it is healthier and tastes better.
*I grilled half of the marinaded chicken and pan fried the other half.  Both cooking methods kept the meat moist.  If you grill in cold weather the grill temperature may not be so consistent if you keep opening up the lid and turning your meat.  Also the drippings can cause fire in the grill so you may need to watch your grill more carefully. For pan frying you can heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil over high heat, sear each side for about 1 1/2 minutes, turn heat down to medium low, turn every 2-3 minutes, cook for about 15 minutes.  Make sure to keep a splatter guard on the pan at all time or you will be cleaning the floor after!
*Instead of mirin you can use Chinese rice wine, sherry or bourbon.
*I have a coffee grinder that I use strictly for grinding herbs.  Slice and roughly chop the lemongrass and grind it in a coffee grinder until it is finely ground.  You can buy already ground lemongrass in the frozen section of some Asian grocery stores.  However, it is not as flavorful as the freshly ground one.

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