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Jun 8, 2009 10:28 AM

Can I use pork loin chops in this recipe?

I made this recipe:

CI's Chicken Alla Diavola
Serves 3 to 4.
Published July 1, 2003.

Instead of two bricks and a rimmed baking sheet, you can use a heavy cast-iron skillet loaded with several cans or a large stockpot partially filled with water. Be careful when removing the pan from the oven, as the handle(s) will be hot.


Chicken and Brine
2 medium heads garlic
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup table salt
1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), butterflied and pounded (see illustrations below)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Garlic-Pepper Oil
4 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving


1. TO BRINE THE CHICKEN: Combine garlic heads, bay leaves, and salt in gallon-size zipper-lock bag; press out air and seal bag. Using rubber mallet or meat pounder, pound mixture until garlic cloves are crushed; transfer mixture to large container or stockpot and stir in 2 quarts cold water until salt is dissolved. Immerse chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 2 hours.

2. FOR THE GARLIC-PEPPER OIL: While chicken is brining, heat garlic, black pepper, pepper flakes, and oil in small saucepan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling and mixture registers about 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Measure 2 tablespoons garlic-pepper oil into 2 small bowls and set aside.

3. TO FLAVOR THE CHICKEN: Remove chicken from brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. After brining, slip fingers underneath skin of breasts and legs to loosen. Rub 2 tablespoons infused oil under skin.

4. TO COOK THE CHICKEN: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat vegetable oil in heavy-bottomed, ovenproof, nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Swirl skillet to coat evenly with oil. Place chicken, skin side down, in hot pan and reduce heat to medium. Place weight (see note above) on top of chicken and cook, checking every 5 minutes, until evenly browned, about 25 minutes. (After 20 minutes, chicken should be fairly crisp and golden; if not, turn heat up to medium-high and continue to cook until well browned.)

5. Remove weight from chicken and, using tongs, carefully transfer chicken, skin side up, to clean plate. Pour off any accumulated fat in skillet. Place chicken back in skillet, skin side up. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Cut chicken into serving pieces, drizzle with remaining infused oil, and serve with lemon wedges"

posted by Goodhealthgourmet but used the grilling instructions which were on the thread but I can't find it now. Anyway, absolutely loved it. My question though is: How would it be if I used boneless loin chops instead? I'm thinking the brine solution could absolutely work and since there is no skin, maybe brush the garlic/pepper oil on the last few minutes of cooking? I tried looking on the cooks illustrated site to see if there were perhaps reviews but you have to have a subscription to even get to the recipe. My other question is if I could put chops in the brine before work and then grill when I got home? The recipe says two hours but lots of times I see recipes where the time is much longer.

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  1. you can absolutely brine & grill boneless pork loin chops, but i don't know that i love this brine for pork - i'd be inclined to omit the bay leaf, and use other herbs instead - sage, thyme, coriander seed, get the idea.

    leaving them in the brine for several hours is fine, but i wouldn't go beyond 6-8.

    here are the grilling instructions for anyone else who might need them...

    For Charcoal:

    Before building the fire, make sure that the grill is cleaned of residual ash from previous use; if left in the bottom, residual ash catches fat drippings and causes flare-ups that can singe the chicken. For this recipe, we prefer the even, slower heat generated by charcoal briquettes over faster-burning hardwood charcoal.

    TO GRILL THE CHICKEN: Ignite about 6 quarts (1 large chimney, or about 6 pounds) charcoal briquettes and burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill and bank half of coals on either side of grill, leaving midsection of grill free of coals. Position grill grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grate clean with grill brush. Lightly dip small wad paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe grill grate. Position chicken skin-side down on grill grate over area with no coals; cover grill and fully open lid vents.

    Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Carve, then drizzle carved chicken with remaining infused oil and serve with lemon wedges.

    For Gas grill:

    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.

    TO GRILL THE CHICKEN: Turn all burners on gas grill to high, close lid, and heat until grill is very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grill grate clean with wire brush; lightly dip small wad paper towels in vegetable oil and, holding wad in tongs, wipe grill grate. Turn all burners to medium-low, position chicken skin-side down on center of grill grate, cover.

    Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Carve, then drizzle carved chicken with remaining infused oil and serve with lemon wedges.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks! Since there is no skin, do you think maybe brush oil on last few minutes? I would of course then drizzle with oil before serving. I was thinking the last couple of minutes because I was planning to grill over coals, not indirectly.

      1. re: ChrisKC

        actually, i'd brush with the oil early on, so it will flavor the chops without leaving the surface too slick/wet toward the end of cooking. you want the exterior of the chops to get a nice char/crust. typically this is best achieved by patting the chops dry before grilling & maybe even seasoning with a dry rub, so the last thing you want to do is apply too much moisture at the end.

        but i'm no expert, so perhaps someone else will chime in with other thoughts...?

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          if you have a big syringe, you can also inject the flavored oil directly into the chops--or a little loin roast-- before cooking. if you add some brine to the injected oil, you can mimic some of the effects of brining in much less time.

          i would not brine chops all day. you likely could extend brining time by dunking a larger loin roast and cutting it into chops yourself before grilling.