About three years ago, I did a 23 day stint working as a sign language interpreter in Hawaii. I worked in every kind of setting you could imagine. From the cruise ship doing theatrical performances to walking the fields of coffee bean, pineapple and macadamia nut farms. We rode on buses on our way to water excursions and saw everything there is to see, coast-to-coast.
Island to island, on each of the eight islands we visited, one thing remained the same: Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. As we drove up and down the mountains shoreside or not, you would see the families join up with the locals over some Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. They would roast chickens rotisserie/style on the side of the road and continuously pour what they call “huli huli sauce” all over every few minutes.
Of course, I tasted it and absolutely loved it. Nobody would really give you their secret huli huli sauce recipe but I always assumed it had pineapples. The only thing they would tell me is that it for sure does not have any pineapple juice but they would serve me with a side of grilled pineapple that was just as good.
While grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s just recently, I snagged a ton of organic chicken wings on a good deal. Immediately the idea hit my mind like the flashing lights at the cinema: Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Wings! I remembered the flavors and I know I could come up with my own traditional version without having to cook a whole chicken.
Let me tell you that this recipe is so on the money that I literally have flashbacks of hanging out at the tops of the Iao Valley eating fresh, ripe guavas from the trees on one of my days off in Maui. I just get Lahaina vibes all the way. Walking through the weekend farmers market and picking up local handmade jewelry. Yas queen!
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Wings
Island to island, on each of the eight Hawaiian islands we visited, one thing remained the same so we came up with our own, Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Wings.
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 14 mins
Total time: 8 hours 14 mins
Huli Huli Marinade
Make a batch of BBQ Roasted Veggies.
In a small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients. Reserve ½ cup for basting, cover and refrigerate.
Pour marinade over chicken and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Grill wings for approximately 14 minutes or until cooked through. During the last few minutes of cooking, baste chicken with reserved marinade for additional flavor.
Serve with BBQ Roasted Veggies or grilled pineapple rings.