Baked Huli Huli Chicken

Dive into the lush flavors of Hawaiian cuisine with this Baked Huli Huli Chicken recipe, a dish that captivates the essence of island cooking. Huli Huli Chicken, originally prepared by Ernest Morgado of Hawaii in the 1950s, has since become a Hawaiian staple, known for its irresistibly sweet and tangy flavor profile. The term “huli” means “turn” in Hawaiian, traditionally referring to the rotisserie method of cooking this delightful chicken. However, a baked version, like this one, offers a practical twist for your home kitchen while still honoring the taste that has made this dish a luau favorite. Whether you’re looking to shake up your dinner routine or hosting a tropical-themed gathering, Baked Huli Huli Chicken brings a taste of the islands straight to your table.

Complement the rich flavors of Baked Huli Huli Chicken with a side of fluffy jasmine rice to soak up the delicious sauce. A crisp, vibrant green salad is the perfect refreshment alongside the savory dish, and for an authentic touch, serve with a scoop of creamy macaroni salad. For those who want to go the extra mile, a side of grilled pineapple will echo the tropical notes while providing a sweet counterpart.


– 3 pounds of chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
– 1 cup pineapple juice
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
– 1/3 cup ketchup
– 1/4 cup chicken broth
– 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 teaspoons sesame oil
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon water
– Fresh pineapple slices, for garnish (optional)
– Green onions, sliced for garnish (optional)
– Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a large baking dish.

2. In a saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, grated ginger, minced garlic, and sesame oil over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil.

3. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until slightly thickened.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour this slurry into the simmering sauce, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

5. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs, ensuring they are well coated.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the sauce is bubbling and caramelized. Baste the chicken with sauce halfway through cooking for extra flavor.

7. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

8. Garnish with pineapple slices, sliced green onions, and sesame seeds before serving.

Variations & Tips:

– If you’re seeking a lighter version, feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs; just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as they may cook faster.
– Marinate the chicken in some of the sauce for a few hours, or overnight, for deeper flavor penetration. Reserve some sauce for basting and serving.
– Turn up the heat by adding a dash of Sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce, if desired.
– No pineapple juice? Mango nectar makes for a compelling substitute that still maintains the tropical vibe.
– For a smoky dimension, finish the chicken on the grill for a few minutes on each side to mimic the traditional Huli Huli BBQ experience.
– This sauce is also excellent on ribs or used as a glaze for grilled vegetables, making it a multi-purpose marvel for your culinary creations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *