Marinated Chicken Alla Griglia
An overnight marinade, plus about ½ hour of cooking time.
For the marinade:
¼ cup roasted garlic purée
½ cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ grape seed oil or corn oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably on the branch (Sicilian or Calabrian)
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1 lemon, thinly slices
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
For the chicken:
2 whole chickens, halved
½ teaspoon each of salt and course-ground black pepper
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Place the chicken halves in a large container and pour the marinade over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Fire up the grill or preheat the broiler.
Remove the chicken's from the marinade (but don't wipe the herbs off; they're delicious charred with on the skin). Season with more salt and pepper.
If you're using a grill: Place the chicken's skin-side down and grill them on high. After 2 minutes, turn the halves 45°. After another 2 minutes, turn the halves 45° again. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken until the juice runs clear when you stick a leg with a knife, about 20 minutes, depending on your grill.
If you're using the broiler: Place the chickens on a roasting rack and broil them until the skins are crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425° and bake the chicken until the juice runs clear when you stick the leg with a knife, about 20 minutes.
Serve immediately, with the vegetables and accompaniments of your choice. Leftovers make a great chicken salad.
Shaved Porchetta Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches
This is an adaptation of the one we make at the restaurant, substituting the whole roasted pork for a rack of pork. At the restaurant we use green olive buns from Pain D'Avignon Bakery in Brooklyn but you can use any good quality ciabatta roll.
For the pork:
1 2-3 lb. pork rack, about 4 bones, preferably from the shoulder end
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
10 leaves fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
2 tablespoons salt
For the Balsamic Onions:
2 medium red onions
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch black pepper
For the Sandwich:
4 tablespoons Calabrain chili paste or harissa
8 slices provolone cheese
4 Italian sandwich buns
To prepare the pork:
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Assemble all the ingredients for the rub on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife chop everything together thoroughly until you have a smooth paste. Rub the mixture all over the pork rack. Place the pork on a roasting rack. Roast it in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes; then turn the pan around and turn the roast over so it browns evenly. Continue roasting the rack for another 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the rack reads 140 F. Remove the rack from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature on a countertop.
To prepare the balsamic onions:
Peel the red onions and discard the skin. Cut the onions width-wise into ½-inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat pan. Add the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften but do not caramelize (about 2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set the pan aside.
To finish the sandwich, reheat the oven to 250 F. When the pork has cooled, slice it as thinly as possible and pile the slices into 4 stacks on a baking sheet, being sure to leave space in between each stack. Cut the rolls in half and place center-side down on a baking tray. Bake in the oven 2 minutes until toasty. You could alternately, just toast them in a toaster or a toaster oven. Top each stack with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic onions and 2 slices of cheese. Bake the pork stacks in the oven until the cheese has completely melted, about 1-2 minutes, then remove the baking sheet from the oven. Using a spatula, pick up a stack and place it on the bottom half of a bun. Spread 1 teaspoon of chili paste or harissa on the top side of the bun then top the sandwich with it. Cut the sandwich in half with a serrated knife. Repeat for each of the remaining stacks. Serve the sandwiches warm with a green salad.
Sheep's Milk Ricotta
Super-fast and super-easy, about 10 minutes to put the cheese together, plus bread-grilling time
2 cups Sardinian sheep's milk ricotta (if you can't find this, use regular cow's milk ricotta)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or course sea salt
1 teaspoon course-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano, on the branch if possible (I use Calabrian or Sicilian)
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Beat the ricotta and the milk together until the mixture is light and fluffy, using a KitchenAid with the paddle attachment if you've got one, or a whisk and a medium-sized bowl if you don't. Add the table salt and mix well.
Place the mixture in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the fleur de sel, pepper, thyme, and oregano generously across the top.
Top with the olive oil, which will settle on and around the cheese. Serve with a board full of Grilled Country Bread.
Grilled Country Bread
Super-quick; 20 minutes from preheating the grill to serving.
1 loaf Italian bread (ciabatta or semolina)
About 1 tablespoon of olive oil per slice of bread, with extra for bigger loaves
Salt and pepper for sprinkling
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Preheat your grill to the highest setting, or put your oven on broil and set the rack on the highest level.
Cut the bread into inch-thick slices. Drizzle both sides of each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the bread (on the grill on under the broiler) until its charcoal-colored on the edges. Turn it and do the same on the other side.
Pull the bread off the grill and rub it on both sides with a fresh garlic clove. Serve warm.