When I was growing up on Maui, the mom of one of my friends would make this delicious chicken. Being a kid, of course I wasn’t interested in the recipe, but when I got older I had to have it. Since then, I’ve always called it Barb’s Mom’s Chicken. I could have called it that here on my blog, but it probably wouldn’t make sense to anyone.
It only has four ingredients in the marinade. Easier, the ingredients are in equal amounts: white miso, soy sauce, sugar, and beer. Marinated over night, the beer really tenderizes the chicken. And the blend of these ingredients gives the chicken a little bit of savory from the soy sauce, sweetness from the sugar, and nuttiness from the miso.
Okay, so when I came up with the new name for this recipe, I wasn’t counting the chicken as an ingredient, nor the green onions, which isn’t part of the original recipe…even though it does add flavor to each bite. Hmm, is that deceiving? Oh well.
I don’t know who thought of this recipe, since all my life I’ve known it as Barb’s Mom’s Chicken. But today I see it sometimes in island style cookbooks, so it must have its roots in Hawaii, possibly via Japan. So, here’s a shout out to Barb’s mom, or whoever came up with it decades ago. Thank you!
For a hearty meal, you can marinate whole chicken thighs with the skin on, and barbecue them over a charcoal or indoor grill. That’s actually how Barb’s mom would make it. Without the green onions. And because the marinade is made with equal ingredients, it’s easy to make double the amount for a big meal. I turned them into a bite-size pieces on skewers for Big Bang Bites.
Makes 18 skewers
- 4 large chicken thighs, skin on
- 2-3 green onion stalks
- 18 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
- 1/3 cup white miso
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup beer
Cut each chicken thigh into about nine pieces.
Combine the miso, soy sauce, sugar, and beer in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the chicken to the bowl and marinate for at least 6 hours, over overnight.
Cut the green onion into one-inch pieces. Put three pieces of chicken on each skewer, alternating with a couple of pieces of green onion. Grill and baste with the remaining marinade.