GRILLED CHICKEN ALLA DIAVOLA

SERVES 4

If using a Kosher chicken, do not brine in strip 1. This dish is very spicy, for milder heat, reduce the amount of red pepper flakes.

2 garlic heads, plus 4 cloves minced

3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 ( 13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan (if using a charcoal)

Lemon wedges

  1. Combine garlic heads, bay leaves, and 1/2 cup salt in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag, crush gently with meat pounder, and transfer to large container. Stir in 2 quarts water to dissolve salt. With chicken breast  side down, use kitchen shears to cut through bones on either side of backbone. Discard backbone and trim away excess fat and skin around neck. Flip chicken, press firmly on breastbone to flatten, and cover with plastic wrap; pound breast to be same thickness as legs and thighs. Submerge chicken in brine, cover,refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, cook oil, pepper flakes, minced garlic, and 2 tsp pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let oil cool, then reserve 2 tbsp for serving.
  3. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Gently loosen skin covering breast and thighs. Rub remaining garlic-pepper oil underneath skin. Tuck wingtips behind back.
  4. A. FOR CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely and place disposable pan in center of grill. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal brequettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into 2 even piles on either side of disposable pan. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  5. B . FOR A GAS GRILL:  Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium low. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature of 350 degrees.)
  6. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken skin side down in center of grill ( oven pan if using charcoal). Cover and cook until skin is crisp,breast registers 160 degrees, and thighs registers 175 degrees, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with reserved garlic oil and lemon wedges.

 

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