Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grilled Pepper Chicken

This was adapted from a recipe for Pollo al Diavolo by Rick Stein - which means "Devilled Chicken"...

The recipe is originally from Puglia, a region in Italy famous for its olive oil, pretty much everything from there is soaked in the stuff. The original recipe called for 175mls of oil, but i highly reduced that amount (although i put a decent amount in anyway) and added extra lemon juice. I also didn't have dried crushed chilli flakes, so used powder (will def use heaps of chilli flakes next time though!), and I used boneless thighs rather than a whole spatchcocked chook.

Felt like a nice marinade for chicken thighs cooked on a bbq - and this was pretty good :)

I use thighs because they are much more flavoursome than breasts, and they remain moist when grilled or bbq'd. They are somewhat higher in fat content than the very lean breasts, but I think it's totally worth it. They are also perfect for things like satay and other skewered chicken dishes, anything that's grilled or cooked over a high flame.

Pepper Chicken

Serves 4-6 (calculating 2-3 thighs per person)

12 Boneless Chicken thighs
1 tablespoon peppercorns, crushed lightly in a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder (or crushed dried chilli)
Extra virgin olive oil
A couple of lemons
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely (or crushed).

Make the marinade by mixing the pepper, chilli, some olive oil (as little or as much as you like), juice of 1.5 of the lemons, garlic and some salt in a small bowl.

Wash the chicken thighs and place in a seal-able container (or a large zip lock bag).
Pour the marinade in, making sure that the chicken is mixed well and the chicken is evenly covered. Seal the container (or bag) and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour, ideally at least 3 hours though.

To cook, light bbq and get to a high temperature (around 15 minutes for a gas bbq**, probably 30-40 on a charcoal).

Chuck em on and cook em till they are done. Chicken thighs don't take that long, however seeing as they have a higher fat content than breasts, it's not the end of the world if they are a little overdone. In fact it almost makes the meat MORE not less tender, and they will always remain juicy :) nom!

Serve with a wedge of lemon and a freshly tossed leafy salad (recipe to follow).

I don't like bbq's unless they have a wrought iron grill. To me it doesn't matter if it's gas or charcoal, charcoal tastes a little more awesome, but it's so much harder to get it at the right heat to cook things on, and less control on the heat output than a gas bbq, so generally i prefer Gas for that reason. As long as the grill itself is good, that's the most important.

Next time I make this recipe, I will increase the chilli content, to make it a proper DIAVOLO chicken. :)

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