You knew someone was cooking huli-huli chicken.
Huli-huli chicken is one of those only-in-Hawaii dishes, credited to Ernest Morgado of Pacific Poultry who barbecued this style of chicken in 1955.
Doused in a special teriyaki-style sauce, the chicken was cooked between two grills, which had to be flipped over — or huli-ed — to cook both sides.
Since Morgado has the rights to the name “huli-huli chicken,” you don’t see many folks cooking the once-popular fundraising item anymore.
And that’s a shame. It’s easily one of my favorite things to eat, and you can’t buy it anywhere — with the exception of Koala Moa on Nimitz Highway, but that’s more roitisserie chicken than huli-huli — but from roadside grills.
But one place that comes very, very close is Stanley’s Chicken Market on Ward near Sports Authority.
I couldn’t believe that this roadside stand has been here for 16 years. The original business had been around for 65 years, selling chicken mostly wholesale. But for nearly two decades, Stanley’s has been grilling up chicken on this corner most Saturdays.
How had I not known about it this long?
A huli-huli chicken connoisseur I know invited me to have lunch with him here, at his favorite Saturday spot. (He brings his own wet wipes and cup with ice.) Here’s what we ate:
Stanley’s Chicken Market, 1020 Auahi St. near Sports Authority. Phone: (808) 593-9989