Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hawaii at Home!

Bill and I have a minor obsession with Hawaii, where we spent our honeymoon. We fantasize about returning just about every day. But alas, a lot more saving has to happen before we're able to go back!

You might recall in my Vacation Food post a few months ago that I declared the teriyaki chicken from the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Honolulu one of my favorite vacation meals of all time (#3 on the list of 10!). I'll never forget how tender, juicy, sweet and spicy that chicken was. And it might have been one of our favorites because it took us the most by surprise. (Seriosuly, who thinks they're going to get an amazing meal at the equivalent of Disney World for pineapple lovers??)

I hadn't attempted to recreate that chicken because I was sure it wouldn't be as good, but I came across a recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook the other day that I decided I had to try. And despite the fact that I wasn't expecting it (or maybe because of that), this chicken totally hit the mark!

You've got some competition now, Dole Plantation!

Mine may not be as pretty, but it was just as good!

Asian Barbecue Chicken
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 chicken thighs, skinned (I used just 5 because that's what was in the package I bought. And they were boneless and skinless.)
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. (I suppose I should tell you that I made a few substitutions ... and mistakes ... here. I used bottled lime juice because I was too lazy to juice a fresh lime, I went overboard with the crushed red pepper because all of my measuring spoons were in the dishwasher, I didn't have curry powder so I subbed a combination of chili powder and cumin, and I forgot about the garlic completely.) Seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight (whoops, my marinating time was more like 45 minutes!), turning occasionally.

Prepare grill. (And by this I assume they mean an outdoor grill. But yesterday wasn't as nice as today, so I broke out my indoor, electric grill.)

Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 20 minutes or until done (the boneless thighs took a bit less than 15 minutes), turning and basting frequently with cooked marinade.

I'm not kidding when I say this was the best chicken I've had SINCE we were at the Dole Plantation! With the exception of the fact that I overdid it with the red pepper, it was almost an exact replica. And yes, I'm pretty darn proud of myself :)

I served the chicken with the same Broccoli Sesame Rice that I made with Tyler's sesame chicken the other night and buttermilk biscuits, but not the same buttermilk biscuits I usually make. I looove Irene's buttermilk biscuit recipe, but I decided to switch it up last night and use the recipe in the Cooking Light book. It calls for the exact same ingredients except butter instead of shortening and a bit less salt. And I have to say ... I think I liked these buttery biscuits better (sorry, Irene!).


  1. I've never been to Hawaii, but I have this hunch that Hawaiian cuisine is brilliant. This droolworthy recipe is doing nothing to dispel that. And I'm pretty sure that rice and the biscuits probably make it even better than the one you had in Hawaii!

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