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Who Serves Great Chicken?

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I went to Oahu 3 years ago and had Huli Huli chicken near the North Shore.  This family was grilling chicken over charcoal and it was THE BEST chicken I've ever had.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Huli Huli chicken is great! It's usually sold as a fundraiser but on the weekends in the summer you can sometimes stumble upon some in parking lots of markets, schools or churches.

That's great - but what IS huli huli chicken and where did it come from? I got it in a parking lot up near the North Shore. Holy moly, that was the bomb. Does anyone know what's in it or how to make it?

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Here's the recipe from the UH web site.

For more info on Ernest Morgado, who started the who Hulihuli chicken fundraising business, and who (at least according to some accounts) invented the term, here is obituary from 2002.

To be somewhat irreverent, the marinade is not that important. Most of the hulihuli you buy from church or school fundraisers uses an extremely mild marinade, more like a brine with mild shoyu / ginger / garlic flavor. The main thing is charcoal broiling at high heat over an open fire, turned frequently (hence the name) so it chars but doesn't burn. IMHO.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Sweet! Thanks! I'm surprised it has catsup in the recipe. I don't recall the huli huli chicken I ate having any sort of catsup/tomato taste to it. It fainly resembled Chinese roasted chicken but with a twist. The charcoal makes a HUGE difference, for sure. I wonder if the chickens y'all get over in Hawaii differ than the mainland chickens (local - more flavor vs. mass produced)?

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You're right - most hulihuli chicken I've tried doesn't have ketchup. The marinades do tend to vary quite a bit, and as mentioned, are usually not the central focus of the what make the chicken distinct.

The chickens are usually different - typically they are smaller Island chickens with more flavor than the supermarket kind.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Seems like one of these days someone should track down Chicken Alice and ask her how she feels about so many different restaurants using her idea! Given how many people here seem to have fond memories of Chicken Alice, I wonder why she ever closed down.

Someone finally did! The Star-Bulletin wins the prize for not only finding Alice of Chicken Alice's (and doing a nice profile of her and her past businesses), but also publishing the recipe! And the secret is wonderfully simple: a specific brand of locally made kim chee sauce!

Wow. I get lots of questions about Chicken Alice's on my websites. I've got a lot of people to update!


Edited by ryanozawa (log)

user posted image HawaiiThreads.com - Let's talk story!

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Her Greatness, Chicken Alice, has been found. I had been working with Betty Shimabukuro of the Star-Bulletin on this search, but one of the Keeaumoku bar aficionadoes tracked her down.

Go to:

http://starbulletin.com/2005/02/16/features/story1.html

She's provided the recipe for her chicken wings in gratitude to the people of Hawaii. Go Alice!

You're right - most hulihuli chicken I've tried doesn't have ketchup.  The marinades do tend to vary quite a bit, and as mentioned, are usually not the central focus of the what make the chicken distinct. 

The chickens are usually different - typically they are smaller Island chickens with more flavor than the supermarket kind.

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