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Pollo Alla Diavola

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Roasting a chicken has always been a great way to score chef points effortlessly.  This version cooks up fast and looks amazing on a platter.  Start a day ahead by marinating the bird.  After you roast it, you’ll make a quick pan sauce.  Suggested sides are sauteed broccoli rabe or roasted potatoes.

Pollo Alla Diavola

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pickling liquid from jarred hot cherry peppers, plus peppers for serving
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or puree

Directions:

The day before you cook the chicken, combine the oil, salt, thyme, pepper and red pepper flakes in a wide baking dish.  Add the chicken, turning it to coat evenly, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Half an hour before your ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Place a cast-iron skillet or other oven proof pan in the oven until it’s medium hot, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and add the chicken, skin side down.  Then add another cast-iron skillet on top of the bird to weigh it down.  Place the chicken in the oven to roast until it’s golden brown and juices run clear when pierced, 45 to 55 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest, leaving the juices in the pan.

To make the sauce, place the pan on medium-low heat and whisk in the broth, pickling liquid and tomato sauce, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Simmer until the liquid is slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve a leg quarter with the sauce spooned over the top and a couple of cherry peppers.  Enjoy!

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