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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

by Chris Carlton

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This Hawaiian chicken is marinated in a rich, flavorful sweet and savory sauce that tenderizes the chicken then grilled to perfection. Imagine being in Hawaii with this summertime favorite!

Grilled Hawaiian chicken on a white plate with grilled pineapple underneath.

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

This is a definite recipe that you need to grill up this summer! It was my first recipe that I have used with coconut milk. The smell of it reminded me of my time in Hawaii and it made me miss it. I had to make this recipe with my rodizio grilled pineapple. Everything turned out awesome and the flavor of the chicken was great! My family loved it and even the pickiest eater ate the whole thing!

Bring Hawaii to your grill with this sweet and savory chicken. Marinate this chicken ahead of time and see how tender and juicy this chicken is grilled. With the sweet flavors from brown sugar, coconut milk to a savory sesame oil and soy sauce mixture, this marinade is all things Hawaiian. Grilled chicken is easy to make and comes together in minutes. Get ready to serve up a tender chicken with loads of flavor!

Hawaiian Chicken Marinade:

Each ingredient is mixed together to make the most delicious marinade. Place the marinade in a ziplock bag and add in the chicken then lay in the refrigerator overnight. This marinade is actually really good on pork chops, shrimp and some types of fish, like salmon. This tried and true favorite will become a summertime fave with how simple it is to make!

  • Chicken: I used chicken breast for this recipe but chicken thighs will also work.
  • Soy Sauce: This is a great base and soaks into the chicken.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a sweet flavor to the chicken.
  • Green and White Onions: Chopped and adds a hint of spice.
  • Garlic: Fresh is best but using a jar of minced garlic will work too.
  • Sesame Oil: Along with soy sauce this will give it that Hawaiian feel.
  • Coconut Milk: Smells and tastes like Hawaii!
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How to Grill Chicken:

The best part about this chicken is that it keeps the amazing Hawaiian marinade flavor throughout the grilling process. This chicken is as tender and moist as it gets and will be a recipe that you grill up every year!

  1. Marinade: Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Place chicken breasts in marinade. Let chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill the Chicken: Grill chicken on a low heat so that the marinade does not burn for 5-7 minutes per side or until done. If you do not have a grill you can use a indoor grill pan.
  3. Serve: Serve over rice, garnish with green onions and top with a little extra soy sauce.

The Recipe Critic Pro Tip:

Before grilling clean you grill off then use a brush to grease the grill racks to avoid the chicken from sticking.

An open ziplock bag with marinade in it and chicken breasts.

Grilling Chicken:

Depending on the size and thickness of each chicken will be different to grill. On average it is best to grill on low heat to avoid the chicken from burning. Only try to move the chicken on the grill once with a flip to avoid the chicken sticking or falling apart on the grill. It is best to use a meat thermometer when grilling. The average internal chicken temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Chicken Breast: Take about 5 to 7 minutes to cook on each side depending on the thickness of each chicken piece.
  • Chicken Thighs: Trim the fat from a boneless, skinless chicken thigh and grill for about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
See also  Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken | The Recipe Critic

What to Serve with Hawaiian Chicken:

To go along with the Hawaiian theme I like to add rice and grilled pineapple to this meal when serving. Fruit, salad or even a vegetable is always delicious to make a complete meal with. 

Grilling Tips:

When ready to grill, prepare your grill by turning it on and cleaning it with a brush. Once the heat reaches about 350 degrees internally then add your chicken onto the clean grates.

  • Preparing Chicken: If your chicken breasts are really thick, pound them to thin them out.  It will reduce cooking time and help it to cook more evenly.
  • Chicken: Boneless breasts (or thighs) make the best grilling chicken since they are lean and quick to make.
  • Cleaning the Grill: Make sure your grill is clean before you begin and rub some oil on the grates to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  • Grilling Chicken: You are aiming for a medium, indirect heat while grilling so that the outside of the chicken does not burn while you get the inside up to temperature. Cooking the chicken on a lower setting will keep the chicken from burning as well as keeping the skin on.
  • Close Lid: Keep the grill closed while cooking. This will keep the heat in and allow the chicken to cook quicker and more evenly.
Grilled Hawaiian chicken breast cut into slices over top grilled pineapple on a white plate.

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