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Tropical Island Chicken Recipe

Tropical Island Chicken Recipe

The marinade makes a savory statement in this all-time-favorite chicken recipe that I served at our son's pirate-themed birthday party. It smelled so good on the grill that guests could hardly wait to try a piece! —Sharon Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 45 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 broiler/fryer chickens (3 to 4 pounds each), quartered


  • 1. In a small bowl, combine first 10 ingredients. Set aside 1/3 cup for basting; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • 2. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Place chicken over drip pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 45-60 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170°-175°, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade during the last 20 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 296 calories, 21g fat (4g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 1199mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 23g protein.

Reviews for Tropical Island Chicken

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Lauraanddiva User ID: 6498235 272140
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2017

"This has gone into my favourites file."

Corwin44 User ID: 7541400 269346
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2017

"I returned from a vacation in Maui about two weeks ago and had one Maui gold pineapple left that was a little too ripe. I put the pineapple in the food processor and used this instead of water. I also decided on brown sugar and fresh minced ginger instead of powder and fresh chopped onion. I marinated my masterpiece overnight and it was fantastic! I used a combo of chicken thighs and wings (fresh not frozen). I served chicken rice a roni and broccoli for sides. My family really liked the chicken and I will be grilling this up again this summer."

Psalm127-3 User ID: 7749892 269275
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2017

"to: slocook805

I am completely in agreement with you. water is innocuous in flavor, meaning there is no flavor - water may be used as a stretcher. pineapple juice is always associated with sweet&sour or Hawaiian flavor or Luau deliciousness. tomorrow night I'm making this recipe sans water subbing with pineapple juice.
hey slocook question: do you use regular sugar/brown sugar/demerara sugar/cane syrup/molasses? believe it or not I even have cane syrup made from "dates" as well as Treacle as well as Lyle's Golden Syrup both from the UK and really only 1 tablespoon of whatever sugar?"

slocook805 User ID: 7734059 269171
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2017

"This identical, with the exception of swapping out the water for pine apple juice, to the teriyaki recipe I grew up with having been raised in Hawaii. For decades it has been my go to recipe for a marinade for chicken, beef and pork whether for BBQ, oven or slow cooker and if I ate fish I wouldn't hesitate to use it on that. Once people try this for the first time it will be a keeper."

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 231664
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2015

"Amazing! This is going into heavy rotation! Good enough for company. We loved it."

kibbeyhouse1 User ID: 5300358 228682
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2015

"I have chronic problems remembering to get things out of the freezer, let alone marinate overnight. Having said that, I had a couple of those huge boneless chicken breasts that hadn't made it to the freezer yet. This is WONDERFUL! I think my new plan will have to be to remember (again with the remembering) to put these in the marinade as soon as I come home from the store. A mega keeper! Oh, and we didn't grill. I put them in the oven 400 degrees about 30 minutes."

ReneeC___NCalif User ID: 106192 228623
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2015

"I'm going to try this with beef too!"

mmohler User ID: 2780522 125422
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2013

"Switched poppy seeds for the sesame seeds, and a teaspoon of freeze-dried garlic instead of garlic cloves, used boneless/skinless chicken thighs, marinated overnight, and grilled over direct heat. A hit with our entire family. Yummy!"

Gardener88 User ID: 7315785 31675
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2013

"I've been making this since i first saw it in 2001. EVERYONE LOVES IT!!! My whole family, extended family, friends... I use it with boneless chicken, but the marinade keeps it moist and juicy every time!"

sgronholz User ID: 1473861 80550
Reviewed May. 19, 2013

"My husband and I tried this recipe tonight with chicken breast halves and it was wonderful! We'll definitely make it again!"

HaleyBella User ID: 7256863 88840
Reviewed May. 9, 2013


kclementsdvm User ID: 1360203 125349
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2012

"We love trying different marinades, and this is a definite winner! We don't have a grill, so I marinated cut-up chicken breasts and then cooked them on the stove. Delicious!"

myndilori User ID: 2231701 31105
Reviewed Sep. 23, 2011

"I have always left out the sesame seeds because I never have them in my pantry but it is the easiest and best chicken marinade ever! Have used this since it was first published several years ago and it is always well received."

jmkasprak User ID: 2880256 204438
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2011

"The chicken had good flavor from the soy sauce, garlic and ginger. I'm not sure what makes it "tropical." Overall, a very good recipe."

rockstaralice User ID: 4204585 36568
Reviewed Oct. 1, 2010

"love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

eacb User ID: 4592663 88839
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2010

"This recipe first came out back in 2001 and we have loved it ever since."

myndilori User ID: 2231701 125343
Reviewed Jun. 22, 2008

"It's been a hit for years with my family. (It was published in a much earlier magazine!) You can't miss with this one!"

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