Cooking Italy: Chicken alla Diavolo~

5 06 2010

One of the curriculum dishes at Cooking Italy for the month of May was Grilled Chicken alla Diavolo Roman Style.  Let’s just say Mother Nature refused to cooperate.  For days.  Here’s what it’s supposed to look like, as exhibited by Angela of  Spinach Tiger.

I followed Angela’s lead, and dry-brined my bird, a la Zuni Kitchen (someday I’ll get back there for dinner!).  I salted and wrapped my chicken (which once again required a trip out of town to purchase) Sunday night with the expectation of grilling on Wednesday.  Wednesday brought thunder and lightning and rain at grilling time, plus I neglected to note that 3 hours in olive oil and lemon juice AFTER rinsing the dry brine off.  We enjoyed hot pastrami and creamy potato leek soup instead.  Thursday, we tried again.  I even picked up a small charcoal grill…but this time we got rain AND wind, but not until the dinner hour.  I finally threw in the towel and roasted our chicken in the oven.

I pulled my already marinating chicken from the wrapper and let it come to room temp while the oven heated.  I found a nice flat roasting rack and ended up cutting my bird in half to make it more manageable.  After a 450° start, I dropped the temp to 350°, and 20 minutes later turned the chicken skin side up to finish.  I don’t know about you, but finding anything less than a 5# chicken is getting harder to find than hen’s teeth.  I simply need to remember to add 10 to 15 minutes to all my cooking times, making sure to add some of it to the first stage cooking as well.

This is a really flavorful recipe!  The peppercorns add a lot of zip to the dish without being diabolically hot.

Tasting Notes~
I’d fix this again, without a doubt, but I’d change a few things more to suit me.  I’m a wet brine fan.  I’d brine with salt, sugar and lemon with toasted peppercorns for 45 minutes to 4 hours.  Drain, pat dry and proceed with the recipe as stated, with the only other exception being toasting the peppercorns to bring their flavors out even more and add a bit of smokiness to the mix.  It’s a wonderful choice for a summer dinner!




2 responses

9 06 2010

I think it looks great and I like the idea of toasting those peppercorns. Next time I do the recipe, I’m doing all dark meat. We liked that part best.

6 06 2010

It looks very good from where I am sitting! I need to get going on these recipes. I like your suggestions at the end on how you would do it differently, all those sounds really good as well. We love chicken around here, maybe I should give this one a go this week. Thanks for the inspiration.

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