Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hawai'i Cuisine: Rotisserie (Huli Huli) Chicken

According to the book, "huli" means to turn, and "huli huli" means to turn over and over. I enjoy saying "huli huli," so I planned to make Rotisserie (Huli Huli) Chicken (pg 60), knowing full well that I would annoy the crap out of anyone in earshot. Matt must have caught on, and conveniently scheduled an overnight work trip to San Antonio for today. Charlie didn't mind my celebration of the hulis, as long as I didn't place myself between him and Finding Nemo. 

I like the idea of this recipe, because Chef Choy gives a couple of alternative cooking methods if you don't have a rotisserie. He also provides instructions for cooking the chicken on a hibachi or under the broiler, turning it every 10-15 minutes, or to just bake it in the oven, untouched. I chose the broiling/turning method.

I don't know the purpose of the first step, but it's fun and barbaric. He instructs you to split the bird down the backbone and remove the neck bone. I chanted some ferocious "Huli Hulis" as I sawed through the ribcage with my almost-not-sharp-enough knife. My knife was definitely not sharp enough to cut through the neck bone, so I cut along the other side of the spine, too, and pulled the whole thing out. This process was so satisfying that I'm tempted to go buy another chicken so I can do it again.
Isn't it ghastly? I love it.
After rubbing garlic and oil into the skin and letting it marinate for half hour, I sprinkled a spice blend of salt, paprika, coriander, and pepper onto the bird and popped it under the broiler.

I popped it a bit too close to the broiler. I inhaled a face-full of smoke when I opened the oven door fifteen minutes later to huli my victim. After that, I put it on a lower rack, and didn't have that problem again.
All the charred bits are from that first 15 minutes. Woops.
The meat tasted like and had the same juiciness of any other chicken I've ever roasted, meaning that it was good, but I'm not sure it was worth all the dismemberment and flipping. The spice mix, on the other hand, is my new favorite blend for roasting a chicken. The crispy bits of skin were deeeelicious.

Conclusion: Liked it. I'll use the seasonings, but not the method again.

Huli.           Okay, that was the last one. Promise.


  1. At least you discovered a new spice mix you like! The chicken looks pretty delicious.

  2. I know of and have had huli huli chicken but am embarrassed to say I had no idea what it meant! Glad it turned out okay!

  3. What fun. I bet this tasted tons better than those overly salty birds I love/hate at the supermarket!