Chicken alla Diavola

Posted in food, home cooking at 12:25 am by wingerz


Butterflied chicken is an amazing thing – it cooks quickly, stays moist, and looks great. It’s great for the oven or the grill. I made this recipe last weekend, and it had nice, lemony flavor. I’ll probably up the amount of red pepper flakes the next time around to give it more of a kick.

Chicken alla Diavola
From Cooks’ Illustrated‘s Grilling book

1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), butterflied
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup juice and 1 teaspoon grated zest from 4-6 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, skins left on, smashed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1. Rub the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the black pepper. Place the chicken in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag and add 1/2 cup of the lemon juice, the zest, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Gently massage the bag to mix the marinade around the chicken and refrigerate for 2 hours. Mix the remaining 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. After heating the grill, turn burners to medium. Place the chicken skin-side down on the cooking grate. Set a rimmed baking sheet (or other flat pan) on top of the chicken and put two bricks in the pan. Cover and grill until the chicken skin is deep brown and shows grill marks, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the chicken skin-side up with tongs and continue to cook (without replacing the pan or the bricks on top) until the chicken juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 15 minutes more. Brush the skin with the reserved lemon mixture. Carefully flip the chicken skin-side down and allow the skin to crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

1 Comment »

  1. wingerz said,

    August 18, 2007 at 8:38 am

    I somehow forgot to include this in the post – the easiest way to butterfly a chicken is to use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone. Once you remove the backbone, you can open up the chicken. Place it flat on a surface and use the heel of your hand to press down along the center of the breast to flatten it out more (you should hear the sound of some bones crunching). Trim some of the fat. If you’d like, you can also cut a small slit in the skin between the breast and the drumstick, then tuck the end of the drumstick bone through the slit.

Leave a Comment