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Chicken Luau

User Rating 2 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Although tradition calls for this Hawaiian luau favorite, chicken luau, to be made with taro leaves, spinach can be substituted when taro leaves are not available.


  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
  • water as needed
  • 3 pounds of taro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • salt
  • 1 can of coconut milk


Heat vegetable oil in a large pot.

Add the chicken pieces and brown lightly, turning frequently.

Add enough water to cover the chicken. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour out the liquid.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in the pot. Add the drained chicken.

Season with salt to taste and simmer. Add 1-2 lbs. of taro leaves, as well as 1 cup coconut milk to chicken. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Spinach can be substituted for taro leaves, although the flavor will not be the same.

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Back to Feature Article "Luau Food and Recipes"

User Reviews

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 2 out of 5
Gotta cook the taro leaves!, Member lehuakea

This basic recipe is okay, with a couple of modifications. I substitute butter, ghee or coconut oil instead of vegetable oils or margarine, which are not good for you. The above ingredients are healthier and they taste better too. Also, and more importantly, cook those taro leaves for a good hour! You have to remove the stems and tough parts, cut them up, and steam or simmer them for an hour to get rid of the irritating hairs/crystals that are part of the plant. Of course, if you use spinach, you don't have to pre-cook. But technically, real chicken luau is all about the taro leaves (hence the name.)

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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