I first tasted Devil's chicken (also known as Pollo alla Diavola in Italy) when I worked in Tuscany in Northern Italy. It rapidly became my favourite way to grill chicken as the punch of the pepper, the acidity of the lemons and the smokiness of the grill make it a naturally delicious way to serve chicken.
What also makes this dish so special is, as the chicken has been spatchcocked (virtually flattened) it cooks quickly, without burning. It is even in size, so it is a safer way to barbeque and oven cook the chicken as it cooks evenly.
Devil's chicken makes a great barbeque back here in the UK. The weather is so unpredictable, so if it rains, the Devil's chicken cooks just as well in the oven.
Where the name Devil's chicken comes from is anyone's guess, maybe it's the amount of pepper giving it a hot flavour, or when the flattened chicken spread on a board, the wing tips look like horns? It certainly packs a punch and oozes flavour.
- 1 free range chicken, spatchcocked/butterflied
- 3 tbsp
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp black peppercorns, cracked in a pestle and mortar
- 1 lemon, halved
- Sea salt
Heat the grill or preheat an oven to 220C/450F//Gas 7
- Lay the chicken breast-side down in a roasting tray.
- Pour the olive oil evenly over the exposed chicken.
- Sprinkle the pepper over the chicken and rub carefully into the flesh.
- Finally, squeeze on the lemon juice and a good sprinkle of sea salt. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to marinate for about 2 hours.
- TO GRILL: Remove the clingfilm. Place the chicken on a medium hot grill, breast side down and cook for 20 minutes, then turn over and cook on the other side. Do not have the grill flaming as this will burn the outside and the risk is the inside will not be cooked. The chicken is cooked when the juices of the chicken runs clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. ALWAYS ENSURE THE CHICKEN IS SAFELY COOKED BEFORE SERVING.
- To Oven Cook: Remove the clingfilm. Place the chicken on the tray in the centre of the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook for a further 30 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the juices of the chicken runs clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Serve immediately.
Devil's Chicken is lovely straight from the grill, or the oven but is also delicious cold.