Here’s a one-pan meal that has risen to the top of our list—pretty much after one bite! The chicken was amazingly moist and juicy, the broccoli florets cooked just right, and the hot, sour and vinegary peperonicini-garlic topping was a WOW factor!
The chicken for Italian pollo alla diavola, or devil’s-style chicken, usually is spatchcocked and grilled. The name is a reference to cooking the chicken over flames and/or the seasonings that make the bird diabolically spicy.
For this easy weeknight version, Milk Street quick-cooks chicken parts instead of a whole bird, seasons them generously with both red pepper flakes and black pepper, then roasts them on a baking sheet in a very hot oven. The broccoli florets also get tossed onto the baking sheet for a complete one-pan dinner. A simple garlic-lemon pan sauce spiked with peperoncini finishes the dish and adds another layer of piquancy.
We used a whole 4-pound-plus chicken. First because, we both prefer different meat options; and secondly because we like to have the extra parts, neck, back, gizards, ect. for our “body bag” which we store in the freezer until such time we need to make homemade chicken stock again. And a whole chicken is typically cheaper than buying the sum of its parts separately. But, yes it is a bit more work. If you prefer to buy already cut up thighs, and or breasts, by all means, do so.
About that broccoli. Don’t cut the crowns into small florets. Keep them in largish 3-inch pieces so they don’t overcook. The baking sheet will be crowded after the broccoli is added, but both the chicken and broccoli reduce in size during cooking.
Two steps not mentioned in the original directions, but that we think are necessary is to, first, massage the chicken parts with oil so that the rub will adhere to the skin. Second, oil the center of the rimmed baking sheet where the garlic cloves will be, and then drizzle a bit more oil over the cloves.
Chicken alla Diavolo with Broccoli
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 1¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 12-oz. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
- ¼ cup plus Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 lbs. broccoli crowns, cut into 3-inch florets
- 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges to serve
- ½ cup chopped drained peperonicini
- ¼ cup lightly packed fresh oregano, chopped
- Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position.
- In a large bowl, stir together the thyme, pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mix onto all sides of the chicken. To the remaining seasoning mix in the bowl, add the ¼ cup oil and the broccoli, then toss to coat.
- Place the garlic in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken, skin up, around the garlic; this placement helps prevent the garlic from scorching during roasting. Arrange the broccoli in an even layer around the chicken. Roast until the thickest part of the breasts (if using) reaches 160°F and the thickest part of the thighs (if using) reaches 175°F, about 30 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken and broccoli to a serving platter. Transfer the garlic to a medium bowl and, using a fork, mash to a rough paste.
- Carefully pour ¼ cup water onto the baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits. Pour the pan juices over the garlic and add the lemon zest and peperoncini, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli, then sprinkle with oregano. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe by Rose Hattabaugh for Milk Street