Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pollo al Diavolo

This past weekend we were treated to an excellent homemade dinner by my brother-in-law. He made Mario Batali's roast chicken recipe listed below. Along with the chicken he roasted potatoes in the same pan and served them with a green salad and fresh sliced french bread. This is the kind of straight-forward, simple meal that you want to keep eating and eating.

The chicken was moist and very flavorful. The spicy oil gave it just enough spiciness to make it addicting, I wanted to keep eating it just to savor that oil flavor. He plated the chicken on top of the parsley salad listed in the recipe along with the chicken. The spicy oil from the chicken dripped onto the parsley salad giving it a little kick of it's own. The parsley salad was a little intense, but I really liked the freshness it added to the meal and it helped balance the spiciness as well. The spicy oil was a perfect condiment to roasted potatoes as well. I can't wait to try making this dish myself.

The Devil's Chicken by Mario Batali

Pollo al Diavolo

Makes 4 servings
The peppery seasoning of crushed black peppercorns and crumbled dried hot red chile peppers makes this dish SPICY. The Olio piccante or spicy oil really adds the bulk of the heat to this dish. Use the spicy oil to add zest to any dish!

One 2½- to 3-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup roughly chopped italian parsley
1 red onion, thinly sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
spicy oil for drizzling

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Truss it and brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast until browned but only about half-cooked, about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ¼ cup black pepper, a pinch of salt, and the mustard and stir well. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, whisking until blended.
4. Remove the browned chicken from the oven and brush with the black pepper and mustard mixture. Return to the oven and continue roasting until the juices run clear when a thigh is pricked, about another 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.
5. While the chicken rests, in a medium bowl, combine the parsley, onion, tomatoes, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and toss well.
6. Carve the chicken and arrange on serving plates. Drizzle with the pan juices and the spicy oil, top with the parsley salad, and serve immediately.

Spicy Oil
Olio Piccante

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
8 jalapeños, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the oil, jalapeños, red pepper flakes, and pimentón and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 175°F. Remove from the heat, and allow to stand overnight.
2. Strain out the solids from the oil. The oil will keep for 3 weeks in a cool, dark place.

Recipe Source: http://www.italiankitchen.com/recipes/devils_chicken.cfm

2005 Mario Batali from Molto Italiano
Photograph © Beatriz Da Costa

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