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*July 2011 COTM, BATALI II: Fish, Shellfish, Poultry, Meat

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the following chapters:

Italian Grill: Fish and Shellfish; Poultry; Meat

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  1. Il Galletto Al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under A Brick) – p. 136 – Italian Grill

    Super-simple to prepare and big on flavour, we loved this chicken and will happily make it again. Chicken is flattened by removing the backbone and pressing down to crack breastbones. We found it simpler to remove the breastbone at the top as well. A rub is made by combining ground, toasted fennel seeds (or fennel pollen), salt, pepper and thyme. The mixture is patted on the bird then the chicken is wrapped in Saran and refrigerated for 12 hours. An hour prior to grilling chicken is removed from the fridge. Chicken is then grilled under a brick until done. We didn’t have issues w flare-ups though they are mentioned as a potential issue in the book. Prior to serving, I spritzed the chicken w lemon-juice. This was a delicious, flavourful dish. We grilled over charcoal.

     
     
    21 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      Oh good. We're making this on Monday so we have a bit of time to juggle the marinade. So you wouldn't change anything...?

      1. re: Gio

        The flavours were great Gio, nothing too intense in terms of seasoning and the charcoal grill just made for a lovely, bird reminiscent of something we had in Tuscany. I would recommend removing the breastbone as we did though, that way you're able to make the bird very flat and, of even thickness to assure no one part is overdone. Can't wait to hear what you think.

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Oh yes, I've spatchcocked a chicken many times. Plus I have my grandmother's old fashioned flat iron I use to weight the chicken nice and flat. It's a real heavy one she heated up on her woodburning stove...I do cover it in foil though. Thanks Breadcrumbs!

      2. re: Breadcrumbs

        We meant to have this on Saturday, but I neglected to read about refrigerating the chicken with seasoning for 12 hours, but the results were worth the wait. We made this as directed using fennel pollen. I've never used fennel pollen before and knew it would be something special as soon as I opened the tin to smell a sweet and intense fennel fragrance. This was hit with the family and we'll definitely make this again.

        1. re: BigSal

          So glad you enjoyed this BigSal, I can't wait to get my hands on some fennel pollen. I found a source in Toronto and I'll have this dish on the menu again as soon as I pick it up!

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            BC, I hope you enjoy the fennel pollen. I found the aroma intoxicating. I bought a small tin that did not last long and it is rather expensive. Recently I found a good deal at Zingerman's to replensh my stock- now to find more recipes to try it with. EYB here I ccome. One of the perks of COTM is learning about and trying new ingredients (like fresh water chestnuts, snow pea shoots and fennel pollen for me recently).

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              I'll be very curious to hear what you think of the fennel pollen, Breadcrumbs. I went in search of it once, and my favorite spice shop said that "all the restaurants" are now substituting a superfine ground and strained fennel seed, with apparently good effect. I'm unsure as to whether that was just a line, as they didn't carry fennel pollen.

              1. re: L.Nightshade

                I'll be sure to come back here and report LN! Nice to have you back btw, hope you had a lovely trip.

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            Il Galletto Al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under A Brick) – p. 136 – Italian Grill

            I made this as the inaugural cook on my new Big Green Egg. I didn't have any fennel pollen in the kitchen, but I did have fennel blooming in the garden, so I attempted to harvest some pollen. Let me just say that it would take a lot of fennel plants to get 3 tablespoons of pollen. So I used a tiny amount of pollen, and used freshly ground fennel for the rest. I also cheated on the refrigeration time of the spice coated chicken. One thing I did in the process of spatchcocking the bird that the recipe does not mention is to cut a slit in the skin on each side near the back end of the chicken. You can then tuck the ends of the legs into the slits, and it makes the bird lie neatly and very flat

            This chicken was absolutely delicious. The seasoning was fairly subtle, and let the taste of the chicken and grill shine through.

            1. re: MelMM

              Il Galletto Al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under A Brick) – p. 136 – Italian Grill

              My turn for this finally. We have a gas grill that runs pretty hot, so even turning the dials to med. low, the chicken got a bit charred on the underside. But that's okay, the meat was still juicy and the charred bits were tasty in their own right. Cooking with the brick was fun, and I'll definitely do it again.

              However, we were underwhelmed by the flavor of the rub. Like Mel, I have fennel blooming in the garden, so I collected a bunch of flower heads and pulverized those. I prepared just half a chicken (dinner for two), but used the full amount of fennel and thyme. The only part where I felt the seasonings came through was on a part of the breast where the skin had pulled back so the seasoning was in direct contact with the flesh. And that part was great! So if I make this recipe again, I would massage the rub under the skin instead of over it.

              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                I think the problem is that fennel pollen is truly a magical ingredient (like saffron) and no amount of fresh fennel fronds will give you the same result.

                1. re: dkennedy

                  Just to be clear, I used the flowers (whence fennel pollen comes), not the fronds. And the flavor *was* great, but only where the rub actually touched the skin. True, I didn't use the actual substance. But my experience with other chicken recipes has been the same (and is substantiated by tests at Cook's Illustrated, I might add), that unless the seasoning is put under the skin, all you get is flavored skin. The flesh may be juicy and delicious, but mostly unaffected by the rub.

                  Those of you who have used the actual pollen -- do you think the fennel flavor really gets into the chicken flesh? Or is it moist, char-grilled chicken with a subtle fennel flavor from the rub charring on the skin?

                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                    As you can see in my post just below, I did not use the pollen, but used finely ground fennel seeds. I don't eat skin and I was impressed that the flavors were so easily appreciated in the meat. That said, taste is so highly influenced by smell, so the aroma of the herbs on the skin could have affected my taste experience.

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      That's right, I did see your post, L., and I suppose that's why I was expecting more flavor in the flesh. I did eat the skin, though, so maybe after eating the skin, the flesh seemed less flavored.

                      Well, I'm going to cut up some leftovers for lunch, so maybe I'll find it has more flavor than I remember.

            2. re: Breadcrumbs

              Il Galletto Al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under A Brick), p. 136, Italian Grill

              We made this chicken last night, which means I did the marinade, Mr. Nightshade did the grilling. I used finely ground, toasted fennel seeds in place of the pollen.

              I'm surprised no one has mentioned the salt in this recipe, which makes me think I did something wrong. I used coarse sea salt, but the amount concerned me, so I used half the written amount of salt, without changing the pepper, fennel, or thyme. I still felt it was too salty and would use less next time. Unless, help me out here, those of you who have tried this dish, the salt was supposed to come off when the chicken was rubbed with olive oil?

              Anyway, aside from the salt question, this was a huge success. Actually, even with the salt it was a success. We used a gas grill, which I don't think gets as hot as charcoal, so the cooking time was a bit longer for us. But the chicken was perfect. Crispy skin, tender and juicy meat. I actually don't like chicken skin, so I loved that the flavors of the rub penetrated into the meat. And the aroma was intoxicating. Mr. N wasn't so sure about the brick method, but he's sold now. And now that we've acquired two bricks from the home improvement store, he's ready to try different versions, so we've ordered more chicken from the ranch.

               
              1. re: L.Nightshade

                Hi LN, great to hear you enjoyed this and, that mr LN is a convert!! On the salt, I didn't have an issue w the amount. Perhaps because I only made one chicken, I didn't think that 2 tbsp was excessive as I imagined some would be lost in the grilling/covering w brick process. I used Kosher salt and we didn't find the bird to be too salty. Neither of us salt our food as a matter of course so if it had been salty, we'd definitely have noticed.

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Good to know. I think I'll use the kosher next time. Doesn't seem like it would make a big difference, but sometimes the coarse sea salt seems to me to make things saltier. Thanks for responding to my query!

                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                    Oh yes! Kosher salt makes a huge difference... less salty by volume. Sea salts are so much better as a finishing salt, and everyone can add to their own taste.

                    Clearly, I will need to convince Mr. Grill to try this recipe out.

                    1. re: smtucker

                      Clearly kosher salt was the way to go. I almost always use kosher, but since MB gives coarse sea salt as the first choice, I thought it would be a good way to use some up. Next time I'll know better!

                2. re: L.Nightshade

                  I also made half the recipe and used kosher salt (Diamon Crystal).

                  1. re: BigSal

                    Thanks, BigSal, sounds like that is the way to go.

              2. Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata - p. 141 – Italian Grill

                I’ve made this dish on a number of occasions and it’s a real favourite though I did need to perfect it via trial and error. Prep and modifications below:

                To start you put olive oil, anchovies, parsley and fresh breadcrumbs in a food processor and pulse until “smoothish” as MB says. Recipe calls for too much evoo (1/2 cup for 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs) and unfortunately, the first time I made this dish, I'd added it prior to realizing this. As a result the breadcrumb mix was a soggy mess. I rectified by adding more bread until mixture was salvageable. Now I simply drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached (approx 1/4 cup does the trick). I should also note that I now add the zest of one lemon to this breading mixture as we love the bright flavour it brings to the dish.

                Boneless, skinless thighs are then placed in a large bowl and tossed w the crumb topping to coat well then they are placed in a single layer on a sheet pan and refrigerated for at least 15 mins. I’ve found that it’s helpful to press this crumb mixture onto the chicken to help it adhere. Chicken is then cooked on a charcoal grill over indirect heat for approx 15 mins per side.

                To my surprise, the breading does survive the grilling process. We first used a charcoal grill and I felt that the grilled flavour over-powered the flavours in the breading so that was disappointing. From then on, we’ve used the gas grill and have been delighted with the results.

                Chicken is served atop snap peas that have been sauteed w some shallots and anchovy paste. We enjoy the dish with or without this side.

                Chicken is tender, flavourful and very tasty. Despite a bumpy start the first time we made the dish, it’s now a house favourite. Delicious!

                Sorry no pics as I’ve been making this pre-COTM.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata - p. 141 – Italian Grill
                  [without the peas and agliata]

                  While searching for Batali and chicken on eatyourbooks.com, I discovered that this is the only chicken thigh recipe in this month's books. I had a bunch of thighs, already trimmed in the freezer and so we were off to the races. I noted Breadcrumbs note on eatyourbooks, and knew to be cautious about the amount of oil. [Thanks bread!]

                  Breadcrumbs has already outlined the food processor stuff. I will only add that I used salt-packed anchovies for the first time and was delighted at how easy they are to fillet. Who knew? I used 1/4 cup plus 2 tbls of oil, and it is possible that my mixture was a bit dry. I didn't bother with the bowl, and instead spread the chicken out on a sheet pan and rubbed until all the chicken was smeared.

                  We used a charcoal grill and didn't feel that the flavor was overwhelmed, but we were careful based on Breadcrumbs experience. Built the fire on side of the Charbroil, under the right grates, and then cooked the chicken quite slowly on the left.

                  My snap peas tasted awful, so I didn't made the sauce for them, and my husband HATES when I try to make chili oil at home [he gets really sick], so I let that part go too. There were enough other flavors on the table that we didn't miss it. Served with Fava Beans with ricotta salata, green beans with onions, cici, and a caprese salad.

                   
                  1. re: smtucker

                    Oh yum! What a great looking meal, smtucker! Love the menu. I didn't buy the Italian Grill cookbook since we don't have a grill but I am really enjoying the reviews and photos of the various recipes people try.

                    1. re: smtucker

                      What a spectacular spread smtucker, your meal looks wonderful and your experience and method on the charcoal grill has me inspired to give that method another try. Thank-you!

                      1. re: smtucker

                        Follow up.... we had a lot of chicken leftover. The next night we ate some cold, along with some vegetables. Today for lunch, I placed the remaining pieces on a sheet pan, topped with a bit of provolone and shredded ricotta salata and warmed it in the toaster oven, and served with a bit of leftover tomato flatbread.

                        I am happy to report that these are leftovers worth having. I do love good quality leftovers, and this fact just bumped up the recipe to a "will repeat."

                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata - p. 141 – Italian Grill

                        This was quick to make on a work night with good results. Heeding BC's advice, we didn't dump all of the olive oil in with the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and anchovies, instead we added a bit at a time until we felt we had the right consistency. We did serve this with the olio piccante. The oil is not critical to the dish, but it did add a spicy, smoky element. A solid dish overall, although I did prefer the Il Galletto Al Mattone (Chicken Cooked Under A Brick).

                        1. re: BigSal

                          Glad you enjoyed this BigSal and that your breading worked well.

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Chicken (Breasts) with (Snow) Peas and Agliata

                          I used two boneless skinless chicken breasts for this dish, for no other reason than I just don't like dark meat. This worked just fine with a slight adjustment of cooking time. Also, of all the peas we ended up with between the farmers' market and the subsequent CSA box, snow peas were what I had left. In addition to those two substitutions, I followed the wise words of Breadcrumbs by adding olive oil sparingly to the breadcrumb mixture, and by adding a bit of lemon into the mix. I had made olive oil infused with lemon zest earlier in the day and used this in the mixture.

                          In spite of reading above that the breadcrumbs survive the grilling, I had my doubts, but indeed they did. The final dish is drizzled with a chile infused oil. Mine didn't infuse for very long, as this was an unplanned menu, but I thought it added a nice touch.

                          I loved the crusty, flavorful coating on the chicken. I liked the peas just fine, but next time I'd also serve something that would be a better foil for the chicken, a simple pasta or maybe a garlic mashed potato. Mr. Nightshade declared that he preferred the chicken under a brick, but this is something different, and easy to scale down for two people.

                           
                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            Mmmm, LN your chicken looks so amazingly delicious! I'm glad you enjoyed this and you've made me crave it again. I'm going to add some chili flakes along w the lemon zest to the breading this time around. I like your idea of serving this with pasta too!

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Thank you Breadcrumbs! Chile flakes sound good, it would be fun to vary the additions in the breadcrumb mix.

                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata - p. 141 – Italian Grill

                            My turn on this dish. I wasn't smart enough to read everyone's comments, so I used the amount of olive oil called for. At the time, it didn't seem like too much to me. I don't know if I would have achieved the proper paste consistency without the amount of oil I used. However, it did seem awfully oily on the grill causing a few flare ups.

                            I did stray from the directions, though, so maybe that made a difference in texture of the coating? Instead of using a blender, I just used my immersion blender in the bowl I was going to use to coat the chicken. Trying to minimize dishes and I hate digging out and assembling my blender. SImilar to L.NIghtshade, it seemed easiest in the end to just put the chicken on the baking sheet and press the coating into it.

                            We ended up cooking the chicken on med high heat on the gas grill.

                            We did use the olio piccante, but made a short cut version using (once again) the immersion blender and did not let it cure overnight.

                            Used onions instead of shallots (no shallots to be found at my grocery today) and Vietnamese crab paste instead of anchovy paste. It worked fine.

                            We liked this. Not sure the snap peas are an essential accompaniment. Would do this again.

                            ~TDQ

                             
                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata, Pg. 141, Italian Grill

                              Full disclosure: My recipe is Chicken Breasts with Snow Peas and Hot Chili Oil. In spite of the main ingrediants being skewed we followed the recipe exactly as written.

                              To start, make the coating for the chicken, as Breadcrumbs describes above. Now, the list of ingredients for this coating includes garlic...12 cloves of it, but no mention of adding them to the MFP. So I did that but used 6 large cloves. (The end notes mention a "garlicky bread crumb mixture.") Also, after tasting the finished crumb mixture I decided it really needed a little salt and pepper so I added that too. The amount of oil I used was 1/4 cup. More than enough for my chicken.

                              The recipe calls for 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs but no weight. I used 3 skinless chicken breasts, about the size of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, weighing 1.75 pounds. G used a grilling basket for chicken and grilled in the Weber with lump charcoal, covered, for 15 minutes then flipped the chicken and cooked for an additional 15 min per the recipe. Next time... much less time here.

                              When the chicken was done and resting we made what is essentialy a stir-fry. Sliced shallots and a bit of anchovy paste are fried in oil for about 5 minutes. The peas are added and cooked till heated through.

                              To serve, place a serving of peas on the plate and put the chicken on top. Our chicken did look like the photograph on the opposite page but the presentation was different. Looks like lemon zest? Or pieces of fried garlic? I dunno. I just know that the chicken was tasty but overcooked. Also, I thought the coating could benefit from the addition of ground almond or pecans. IMO: This is a recipe that could do with some experimenting. BTW: we liked the peas. I served fire-roasted corn o/t cob. Again.

                            2. The original comment has been removed
                              1. Salmon in Cartoccio, Pg. 130

                                This was an unmitigated and total failure. In fact the entire meal was. I'm not sure why, either. OK, I take that back.. There was one redeeming factor: the fire-roasted potatoes, page 11. Those were great. Thank goodness there only the two of us at dinner, though. The menu was...the salmon, stir-fried Japanese greens, the potatoes, tossed salad and a crazy very easy strawberry cake. Well all right the cake is a no fail recipe so that was good.

                                The salmon was made according to the written recipe but I omitted the asparagus because I was going to cook half a bunch of some interesting Asian greens G bought at our local farmers market which I thought might be Japanese spinach. (He didn't write down what the vendor told him they were.)

                                Simple recipe: cook a few garlic slices and anchovies in oil. (Here's where the asparagus comes in after the garlic is brown.) Drizzle a little EVOO in the center of the foil, place a dollop of the asparagus/anchovy/garlic mixture on top of that. "Season the fish aggressively" and put on top of the mixture, put orange and lemon sections and thyme on top of the fish. Gather the corners of the package up the drizzle white wine over all. Seal the foil and place on grill. When you hear the wine bubbling after about 3 minutes cook 5 more minutes.

                                Easy, right? Should have been delicious even w/o the asparagus. Wasn't. In fact it tasted of nothing at all. In retrospect I think it was the salmon. Silverbrite salmon. Who knew. The lowest of the low. We love salmon but not this variety apparently. We'll Never buy silverbrite salmon again.

                                As for the greens.... I don't know what they were. Could have in fact been spinach, or Komatsuna, or Yu Choy. In any case the stir-fry method I used has been my standard go-to recipe. These were under cooked and bitter. And I still have another bunch to use. Oy Vey.

                                21 Replies
                                1. re: Gio

                                  And that is why God gave us Toscanini's! Sorry that you had a disappointing meal. I have never heard of silverbrite salmon. Is it an East Coast farmed fish? Wild from Somewhere? Whole Foods, Fresh Pond, had the most beautiful wild Alaska salmon on sale yesterday but since I had already bought the tuna, I reluctantly passed it by.

                                  1. re: smtucker

                                    Hi SMT...This was wild Alaskan salmon from the Reading MB. We don't buy farmed salmon.

                                    Oh... Toscanini's. Now That's a major Yum.

                                    Today it's lobster and strawberry shortcake so it's all good. G's birthday is the Fourth so we're having a birthday week-end.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Making mental note.... silverbrite is out!

                                      Just a bit of French vanilla with the last of the season's strawberries is a tasty end to the day. Next up? Raspberries! My bushes are so full this year, I may get to eat more than 32, like last summer.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Sorry about that salmon Gio, like you I'd flagged this dish imagining wonderful flavours. I picked up fresh wild BC Sockeye salmon on Friday and popped it in the freezer w this dish in mind. I may season more aggressively based on your experience. I had intended to use fennel seeds and fronds in place of the thyme so that may help. I especially like fennel and orange together. I'll be back to report!

                                        Best wishes for G's birthday!

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Thanks, BC. We'd never bought the silverbright before; wild NW salmon either sockeye, king, or coho usually. Fennel for your adaptation sounds very good. Hope it turns out much better for you. We've been buying great fish at the farmers market on Thursdays to cook that night but this salmon sounded perfect for a simple Sat. night meal. Many thanks for your greetings. I'll relay that to the birthday boy.

                                      2. re: smtucker

                                        I had never heard of Silverbrite salmon either so I googled the term, and (besides the obligatory Wikipedia article) I found a description from an "Alaska Fishing" site. Interesting fish--called chum--and considered the least desirable eating salmon, though I don't quite know why. They're wild and from Alaska--what's not to like! ;-)

                                        http://www.alaskafishingak.com/salmon...

                                      3. re: Gio

                                        Oh no! How disappointing. This one is (was?) on my list. You definitely think it was the fish you bought and not the technique or recipe, right?

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I can't say for certain, TDQ, but based on the taste and color of the salmon, I'd say that's it. We've cooked fish en papillote many times both outside on the grill and inside in the oven and never had such a dreadful result. Oh well... that doesn't happen very often, thank heaven.

                                        2. re: Gio

                                          Our turn w this last night but as I'd mentioned to Gio, I'd picked up a BC Wild Sockeye salmon so I was cautiously optimistic about this dish in the hopes that, as Gio suspected, it may have been the silverbrite salmon that let her down in this dish. I also opted to forgo the thyme that MB suggests to season this dish and, instead used basil leaves and, some fennel seeds.

                                          So, what did we think you ask? We thought this was a good, tasty dish though I do question what the grilling process adds since the foil packets are so tightly sealed that no smokiness was imparted to the fish. I can see the advantage of not having to fire up the oven in the hot summer months and perhaps a bit of a "wow" factor since you could prepare this dish table-side if you were dining al fresco but the grilling definitely didn't do anything to enhance the flavours of this dish.

                                          As expected, since the fish steams in the foil, it was moist and flaked beautifully. the tight seal of the packages also ensured that the herbs infused the salmon w their flavours. We served this with some steamed brown jasmine rice.

                                          If I were to make this dish again, I'd do it in the oven in parchment as I'm not a fan of cooking wine in aluminum foil, somehow I feel that the foil alters the flavour of the wine. I also would skip any advance cooking of the asparagus as it was overdone after the intense steaming.

                                          Good but not remarkable, I may make this again with the modifications noted above.

                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Glad to have read your report, BC. The salmon looks great but mushy asparagus is well, you know. That does it for me, though. I'll not be making this salmon recipe again. I had thought of using parchment paper and would have if the packets were to go into the oven, I'm not a fan of wine in Al foil either. Grilling salmon outside in a fish basket or on a cedar plank is the way to go, as far as I'm concerned.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I completely agree w you about the fish Gio, the grill basket is terrific and allows for such versatility in prep as well. I recently picked up a maple plank which I thought would be great for salmon as well. We're big on the maple/salmon thing here in the great white north!! ; )

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                On vacation in Mammoth so this will be my only report until I get home. Attempted the T Bone Fiorentina on p. 166 of ITALIAN GRILL. Due to vacation mode, I had to substitute boneless rib eyes for the T Bone and omit the sage (there was none to be found). Result: fantastic flavor!!!!!

                                                The recipe calls for 1 T. each fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme; 2 T. salt, 2 T. pepper. Make a paste out of the herbs and wet it with some olive oil, slather on the steaks and allow to sit at room temp for 1/2 hour. Grill. Serve alongside recipe for sauteed spinach.

                                                I substitued french green beans for the spinach and it was outstanding. Can't wait to try it at home with T Bones and spinach.

                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                  That does sound great dk, perfect grilling on vacation food. Hope you are having a wonderful time!

                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                    T-Bone Fiorentina p. 166 Italian Grill

                                                    Decadent and delicious. We had a much smaller steak, porterhouse, than called for in the recipe and adjusted our cooking time. The Mr. was not interested in trying the steak rare, so we cooked it medium rare. The flavor of the herbs complemented the steak rather than overwhelm it. Herby and delicious. I will make this again when my father-in-law comes to visit in a few weeks. The spinach was equally delicious and will make it again with or without steak. Even the Mr. loved the spinach- he is typically not crazy about non-carb-laden veggies.What a treat!. We ate this with grilled green beans a la Ruhlman- delicious. It reminded me of the Penelope Casas dish (judias verdes con ajo), but with a smokier flavor

                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                      We also made this dish last night and substituted smaller porterhouses as well. We all LOVED this dish. I could not believe how much flavor the herbs gave to the steak. Big Sal, regrading this dish, I completely agree on your take- "herby and delicious." This will definitely be made again!

                                                      We had an all out Mario meal. We started with the grilled mortadella antipasta. With the meal, had the grilled potatoes with viniagrette, and the tomoatoes in sherry vinegar creme fraiche. Overindulgent, but delicious.

                                                      1. re: mdfifi

                                                        Wow, you did have an all out Mario meal! Sounds wonderfully decadent.

                                                    2. re: dkennedy

                                                      (New York Steak) Fiorentina with Sauteed (Chard), page 166.

                                                      We tried this last night, and because of ingredients on hand, a few changes were made in this recipe. We had a New York steak and rainbow chard, and used those instead of the called-for T-bone and spinach. Mr. Nightshade thought the big thick T-bone called for would be perfect, but the ranch we buy from did not have bone-in cuts.

                                                      The steak is covered with a mix of chopped rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. We added a bit of oregano just because I had broken one of the stems on the plant and wanted to use up the leaves. Olive oil is gently rubbed over the herbs, and the steak marinates for 30 minutes (ours marinated for closer to an hour). The steak then goes on a covered grill. MB says Fiorentina is traditionally served rare, and that worked for us (although it doesn't look it in the photo).

                                                      While the steak is grilling, olive oil is heated in a pot and sliced garlic is added. Spinach (or chard in our case) is tossed into the pot in handfuls, with light sprinklings of salt. When it is wilted, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt ,and pepper are added. As expected, a huge pile of greens cooks down to a small lump.

                                                      Two thumbs up on this dish. The herbs make a crusty, flavorful coating on the meat, with just the right touch of salt. The lemony greens are a great accompaniment, but this steak would easily work with the side dish of your choosing. We plan to try this recipe again using different herb combinations, and different cuts of meat. The steaks don't marinate for too long, so this dish can be started less than an hour before dinner.

                                                      By the way, the photo shows the serving dish, not one person's portion!

                                                       
                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        That looks fabulous LN, perfectly cooked and beautifully plated, Nice idea swapping out the spinach for chard and your rainbow chard compliments the colours of the steak too!! That plate just screams summer!

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Thanks Breadcrumbs! It doesn't really feel like summer. We had a break in the rain, just long enough to grill, then it started again. Today is grey and wet again, no grilling tonight!

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            Wow, sorry to hear that LN, we've had just the opposite here (for a change!). A steady stream of hot sunny days. Today is a real scorcher so we'll definitely be grilling tonight!

                                              2. re: Gio

                                                Salmon in Cartoccio, Pg. 130 italian grill

                                                We liked this, actually except for the asparagus which I would skip next time. Maybe just put a foundation of more thyme or citrus supremes. I think the wine is just present to provide liquid for steaming so I'm not bothered by the interaction with the foil. I didn't have time to de-stem the thyme--just layered the stems in there. That worked fine I thought. One note, we did'nt have jumbo asparagus , so we just used small stalks. Maybe that was the sources of our mushy asparagus. Still, I would skip it next time. Would love to try with fennel. Totally company-friendly dish.

                                                ~TDQ

                                                 
                                              3. Chicken alla Diavola, pg 138 Italian Grill

                                                Easy enough and nice enough this is a simple citrus (lemon & orange, juice plus zest) + pepper (hot pepper flakes & pimenton--or in my case hungarian paprika) + oil marinade. My only quibble is that the marinade didn't seem to penetrate the chicken evenly, I used all thighs rather than a cut up chicken, so if anything i would have expected a more even flavor across the pieces which were pretty uniform. They were in the marinade for 2 plus hours, more than the recipe's minimum of one hour.

                                                The marinade doesn't include salt, and while I'm often very happy with less salt than most, a chicken marinade is one place I'd expect to use some salt....unless someone can tell me if there is a reason not to use salt in a citrus marinade?

                                                Anyway, if I made this again, I'd either add salt to the marinade or I would try to marinate the pieces for a longer period of time. It is a nice bright dish for a simple summer week night dinner.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: qianning

                                                  Chicken Alla Diavola – p. 138 – Italian Grill

                                                  With special thanks to quianning who took the first run at this dish, I’m happy to report that as a result of her great feedback, we loved this dish.

                                                  qianning did a great job of letting us know how this all comes together so nothing left for me to report on except our own modifications. Based on qianning’s observations on the flavour, I used a fork to pierce the chicken pieces to allow them to absorb the (very plentiful) marinade. We also marinated the chicken for 10 hours. Not sure if I just had juicy fruit but I halved the ingredients since we only had one bird and I definitely had enough of the marinade for 2 birds. Instead of using one orange and two lemons I used the orange, a lemon and a lime. The recipe calls for hot pimenton to be sprinkled on the cooked chicken but since we were a bit concerned that the meat may not have a prominent citrus flavour, we decided to skip that step. No worries though, the dish was absolutely delicious. The flavour of the citrus definitely came through and, mr bc said it was quite prevalent through the grilling process as well. This was light, bright and perfect for an al fresco dinner. I’d highly recommend this dish w qianning’s comments in mind of course!!

                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    lime, that's a great idea. and you're right bc , this recipe makes a LOT of marinade, unless you're feeding a crowd 1/2 or 1/4 recipe's plenty.

                                                  2. re: qianning

                                                    Chicken alla Diavola, Pg. 138, Italian Grill

                                                    Made the Diavolo last night and have to say it was scrumptious. Heat is key in this dish but given the quantity of the hot red pepper flakes I had to reduce the HRPF from 5 tablespoons to 2 Tbsp. Penzey's smoked Spanish paprika was used for the sweet and El Avion Pimenton - Picante Ahumado from Spain - was the smoked hot. Also, I reduced the amount of EVOO from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup. Four chicken quarters with skin were used instead of a whole chicken. We were cooking for two people The rest of the ingredients remained the same: both orange and lemon zest and juice, 2 Tbsp sweet Pimenton, KS & FGBP. Our chicken pieces marinated just a little over an hour.

                                                    When the chicken has finished cooking Kosher salt and FGBpepper are sprinkled over then the hot Pimenton is sprinkled over as well. We thought the flavor was very well distributed throughout the meat. When I poured the marinade over the chicken I made sure to get it all over and under the quarters and turned them several times during the marination.

                                                    Steamed basmati rice and a garlic/onion sauté of bok choy, with Italian spices and diced prosciutto completed the meal.. It's surprising what a versatile vegetable bok choy really is. (I can see beetlebug rolling her eyes from here... LOL)