From America's Test Kitchen
Traditionally, “devil’s chicken” is pounded flat, seasoned with a healthy dose of peppery spice, and pinned beneath a brick over a bed of fiery coals. We wanted to develop a more reliable grilling technique and a well-rounded diavola flavor that was spicy but not overwhelming.
In most chicken alla diavola recipes, the crucial flavor and heat comes from either ground black pepper or red pepper flakes. Our tasters preferred a combination of the two, but we suspected that we could achieve even better flavor by brining. Sure enough, the brined chicken was moist, pleasantly fragrant, and well seasoned—especially when we added crushed garlic and bay leaves to the saltwater solution.
Next we turned toward a sauce for brushing on the chicken during cooking. We bloomed spices in warm oil for a well-rounded, intense, yet sophisticated flavor, then rubbed the sauce under the skin before cooking it.
We then turned to the grilling method. First we butterflied the chicken, keeping the breastbone intact (which protects the chicken on the grill and keeps the meat from drying out) and then pounded the bird flat with a mallet (to ensure even cooking).
Serves 3 to 4
To prevent flare-ups that can char the chicken, make sure that the gas grill's fat drainage system is in place. Lava rocks can intensify flare-ups, so be especially vigilant if making this recipe on a grill with these ceramic briquettes.