Last year, Craig and I spent a glorious week on the Hawaiian island of Maui. During the flight, I flipped through the pages of the free magazine that the airline tucks into the back of each seat. There was an article about Huli Huli Chicken whick looked and sounded so delicious, that I hoped to find some during our vacation.
Huli-Huli Chicken is one of those great "only-in-Hawaii" foods. In 1955, Ernest Morgado of Pacific Poultry barbecued his version of teriyaki chicken for a farmers gathering. The chicken was such a hit, it became a favorite Hawaii fundraiser, raising perhaps millions over the ensuing years for schools, softball teams and hula halau (hula groups). The chicken was cooked between two grills. The grills had to be flipped over. And since huli is the Hawaiian word for turn, thus was born the name Huli-Huli Chicken. Huli-Huli chicken all but disappeared after Morgado asserted his rights to the trademark, and started marketing a bottled sauce under that name. Of course, you can still buy Huli-Huli-style chicken in the Islands, practically anywhere you see billows of great-smelling smoke emanating from a large roadside grill. It won’t be called Huli-Huli Chicken. But that's pretty much what it is.