chicken under a brick
Today we’re super excited to partner with Jeff from Wine & Dine with Jeff to bring you a yummy chicken dinner recipe! We love this one because it cooks super quickly and leaves you with a moist inside and crisp outside. Let’s dive in!
Chicken under a brick or just under pressure is my new favorite way to cook chicken — it always turns out moist and tender. The reason is that the whole chicken is spatchcocked, which means the backbone of the chicken is removed. This allows the chicken to lay flat so you have overall even cooking between the white and dark meats. One more benefit is that the whole chicken cooks in 30 minutes and stays juicy and tender. I have a few tricks to keep the chicken moist and the skin crispy.
3 1/2 to 4 Pound Chicken (Spatchcocked with the backbone removed)
1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
2 Teaspoons of fresh thyme
2 Teaspoons of fresh rosemary
1 Teaspoon of lemon zest
1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil for herbs and 1 tablespoon for on top of the chicken skin
Salt and Pepper in the fresh herbs and salt and pepper on the skin of the chicken
1.Let’s start by spatchcocking the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down and legs facing you. With a strong, sharp pair of kitchen shears start cutting from the tail bone straight along the backbone as pictured below.
2. When you make it all the way through one side of the backbone and the chicken is able to open up, flip the chicken so the neck is facing you. I do this because I am right handed and it seams easier for me to go along the other side of the backbone this way.
Start at the neck and cut along the other side of the backbone until the whole backbone is removed from the chicken. Flip the chicken over so that the skin is facing up and with the palm of your hand press down firmly onto the breast plates. You will hear the bones crack and the chicken will lay flat. Don’t throw away the backbone — it is great for chicken stock or if you want to make gravy.
3. Now it is time to flavor the chicken! Remove all the rosemary from the hard stem along with the fresh thyme. With your knife cut up the rosemary and thyme into smaller pieces and add them to a small bowl. Add the minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine all the ingredients. Zest your lemon and add the zest to the herb mixture. The olive oil herb mixture will be placed under the skin of the chicken. This will prevent the herbs from burning on top of the skin during the high heat.
With your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the chicken without tearing any of the skin. For extra crispy skin make sure the chicken skin is completely dry — just take paper towels and dry off the skin. Take the herb mixture and place under the skin, making sure to get all over inside the breast and the thighs. Rub olive oil on top of the dry chicken skin and salt and pepper the skin. That is the only thing going on top the skin because everything else will burn and give you black specks on the chicken.
4. This is called chicken under a brick, but you don’t need a brick. It is all about cooking the chicken under pressure. This has gone through my test kitchen using 2 clay bricks wrapped in foil on a cast iron. I have also used two cast iron pans — one on the bottom and one on top. I have used a good quality stainless steel pan for the base with a heavy cast iron pan on top. I have done many tests and they all come out the same. The only pan I would not use for the base would be a Non stick pan, only because some of the non stick pans can not reach up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Tip: if you are using bricks, make sure you buy heavy clay bricks and wrap them in foil. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pans or bricks in the oven for 15 minutes, until the pans are screaming hot.
5. Carefully pull the screaming hot cast iron pan out of the oven and place the chicken skin breast-side up in the pan. Make sure it is laying flat in the pan with all legs and wings inside the hot pan. Then remove either another hot cast iron pan or the bricks from the oven and place them on top of the chicken and press down. This will be heavy, so carefully take these hot pan with the chicken in the middle directly to the oven still at 475 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 30 minutes until the temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees. Another great tip: when the hot pan hits the top of the chicken don’t move the pan around, because it will stick to the skin and can cause it to tear.
6. After 30 minutes the chicken should be finished cooking. There will be plenty of rendered drippings in the bottom of the pan to make a gravy or, if you prefer, you can also cook the chicken backbone with giblets to make an amazing gravy while the chicken is cooking in the oven. Serve with your favorite vegetable and mashed potatoes. I hope this becomes your new favorite way to cook chicken!
I don’t know about you, but chicken under a brick might be my new favorite way to cook chicken! What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Jeff’s self-taught passion for food and wine began a little over three decades ago. Now, his creativity and artistic side pair up perfectly with the innovative culinary cuisine he often prepares for loved ones, friends, and for others to enjoy via social media.
“I love to demonstrate how easy and simple it is to prepare healthy, delicious meals, and beautiful meals. My affinity for food and home cooked meals began when I was just a child. Our family would gather around the dinner table at the same time every day and share a healthy, home-cooked meal prepared with love. I was always inspired by my mother, who worked tirelessly but also cultivated time to create a nutritious and mouthwatering dinner every night. At the age of six, I was rolling my first meatballs in the kitchen while other kids were out playing sports. The kitchen has always felt like home to me.
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