This Huli Huli chicken is Hawaiian inspired with the pineapple juice and has a good punch from the soy sauce. This is really tasty! I also cut up a fresh pineapple to grill along with the chicken... so scrumptious! You could probably get away with using canned pineapple rings, which I've done in the past, but if you can find fresh pineapple in season, definitely go the extra step with the fresh... totally worth it! I also served this with a coconut lime rice.
This recipe is a little bit more involved, but not difficult in the least, and definitely worth the extra few steps! The extra steps involve making a brine. More people are familiar with brines now since it's become this huge thing to bring turkeys at Thanksgiving (which if you haven't, you MUST try it! There is absolutely nothing like it! For a wonderful Turkey brine, try Alton Brown's.) For those that are still in the dark about brines, basically it's a flavored liquid that you marinate your lean meats in (it's not technically marinating, but we'll just use that word for now), in order to create more moist and flavorful meat. Usually, most brines will include water, salt, sugar, and other flavoring agents. Your biggest issue with brining is finding a container large enough, but for this recipe, since we're only doing a few chicken breasts, we'll just use a resealable plastic bag.
2 C cold water
1/2 C soy sauce
1 tsp vegetable oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 t fresh ginger (I have the jarred ginger, and it makes cooking with ginger much easier)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
9 oz pineapple juice (I used a pineapple coconut juice)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 T C soy sauce
2 T ketchup
2 T rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh ginger
1 t Sriracha
1 C dry rice
1 C coconut milk
1 C water
1 fresh pineapple, cut into spears*
*Slice the top and bottom off the pineapple, and stand it up. Using a sharp knife, very carefully saw down the pineapple taking the rind off. Go back around, taking any leftover rind off and then slice the pineapple long ways down the middle. Slice each half in half again. Stand each quarter up, and carefully slice the hard core off. Then cut into spears for this recipe, or chunks for salads, stir fry, or snacks. It's kinda difficult at first, but after several tries, it becomes super easy.
For the brine, add vegetable oil to a small saucepan over med high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add water and soy sauce and stir to combine. Add liquid to a plastic bag and add chicken. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. (I did this step in the morning, so it was ready to go by dinnertime.
30 minutes before you are going to eat, prepare your glaze. Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Remove half of glaze to a separate bowl for serving (This is the step I forgot, and I seriously regret it. Once you put that glazing brush in the bowl and then the chicken, all is lost).
|These pictures aren't the best, sorry bout that.|
Once you've got your glaze pretty much done, you're ready to start your chicken. Preheat your grill. Lightly spritz the grate with cooking spray, and make sure heat is med-low. Place your chicken on the grate and cook away, undisturbed. For large chicken breasts cook 9-10 minutes on each side; for small-medium (6-7oz) sized breasts, cook 6-7 minutes on each side. Then add your pineapple spears to the grill and watch carefully so they don't burn to a crisp. But definitely get some good color on there and allow them to caramelize a bit.
Now that you put your chicken on the grill, lets get the rice started. For just the hubby and I, I make 1 C dry rice for our dinners. Here's what I did. Heat 1 C coconut milk in saucepan with 1 C water. Add the juice of 1 lime and 1 C rice. Allow to come to a boil and turn down heat to very low. Set that timer for 10 minutes and wait for super delish rice (Time and heat may vary, but I find I get perfect rice on my frustrating stove this way).
When the rice has started go turn your chicken, and brush some glaze on the top. When the other side has had it's 6-7 minutes, turn the chicken and add more glaze. I let the chicken cook for just another minute or so to let the glaze kinda cook into the meat a bit. Plate your chicken and take it inside with you to rest while you finish up your rice.
To plate, place pineapple over a bed of coconut lime rice, served alongside chicken. Serve with reserved glaze on the side. Ooh and aah over these delish flavors!
Recipe Adapted from: Serious Eats