Tuscan Devil’s Chicken

Just 5 ingredients and perfect as a healthy option for BBQs when the weather is nicer

I’ve no idea why the Hairy Dieters named this recipe Tuscan Devil’s Chicken, presumably it originates from Italy, but it’s perfect hot or cold for lunchboxes or your BBQ when the weather turns nice again.

The only challenge is trying to find a suitable bag to marinate the 5 ingredients in. I initially tried a freezer bag but was a little too overzealous when shaking everything about and it split. Plan B was a carrier bag which was too big. I ended up placing the thighs in a plastic bowl and covering them in clingfilm, which sort of did the trick. A word of warning, do make sure you shake off any excess marinade before you cook them – the last thing you want is a mouthful of peppercorns in your gob. This meal is great with a side salad.

If you’re looking for more lunchtime inspiration with chicken thighs, have a gander at sticky chicken with coleslaw, jerk chicken, smashed up chicken or honey chilli chicken.

Recipe: Tuscan Devil’s Chicken

Calories: 252 per portion (if serving 4); 168 per portion (if serving 6)

Serves: 4-6

Book: Hairy Dieters – Good Eating

Prep time: Approx 15 minutes (plus marinating)

Cooking time: Approx 10-15 minutes


  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of fat)


  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Cost per portion: Approx £1.83


First, you need to flatten the chicken thighs. Open out a few so they are lying flat and place them between 2 large sheets of cling film. Now give them a good bashing with the smoother end of a meat mallet – or the bottom of a saucepan or a rolling pin will do fine. Repeat with the remaining thighs.

Put the chicken thighs in a bag with all the marinade ingredients. Close the top of the bag and massage the marinade well into the thighs, then leave them in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat your barbecue or a griddle pan on the hob. Brush most of the marinade off the chicken thighs and place them on the hot barbecue rack or griddle. Cook on one side for several minutes. When they are nicely charred on the underside, turn them over (you should be able to remove them quite easily at this point) and grill the other side until the chicken is completely cooked through and no trace of pinkness remains. As they thighs have been flattened, the cooking process shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.

If you prefer, you can bake the chicken. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C / Fan 200 degrees C / Gas 7. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and space the pieces of chicken out on the tray. Bake for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through, basting with any remaining marinade at intervals.


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