Chicken Under A Brick

Chicken Under A Brick is a classic preparation of a whole chicken, which is butterflied and then cooked under a weight, usually a brick. The chicken cooks faster than a typical roast chicken, and you get a really crisp skin on the chicken, since the chicken is pressed directly onto the cast iron skillet you get so much crispiness all over the surface.

Why Does This Recipe Work?

Cooking a Butterflied Chicken Under a Brick helps to cook the chicken a lot faster than if you were to roast it whole.

Placing a weight on top of the flattened chicken gives more of the chicken a chance to be in contact with the hot skillet so that it creates a great crisp skin all around. The chicken is crisp and golden on the outside and so juicy and tender on the inside.

This method also makes the chicken really easy to carve and serve.

Another thing that I love about this recipe is the endless flavor options. My favorite is a garlic, lemon and parsley flavor, that is added at the very end, but you can also use shallots, thyme, rosemary, lime, orange or other spices, like paprika, chili powder, coriander, etc.

How To Butterfly A Chicken

Butterflying a chicken simply means that you remove the backbone, flatten it out an

Place the whole chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Kitchen Shears/Scissors work great for this job. Cut along both sides of the backbone, until the backbone is removed.

Freeze the backbone and add it to the pot next time you make Chicken Broth.

Flatten the chicken by pressing firmly on the breast bone. (You can also make an incision with the kitchen shears at the top of the breast bone, which will make it easier to flatten the chicken.)

Cooking the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Season the chicken liberally on both sides with salt and ground black pepper.

Heat 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of oil in a cast iron pan on medium heat. (Make sure that it’s large enough to fit the whole chicken.) When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, breast side down into the skillet.
Place a large brick (wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil), on top of the chicken.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. (All skillets and stovetops are different, so I suggest checking the chicken every 5-7 minutes, to make sure it’s not burning.) Turn the chicken over and cook for another 8-12 minutes, placing the brick on top of the chicken again.

What Can Be Used Instead Of a Brick?

If you don’t have a brick available, you can use a large dutch oven or another heavy cast iron skillet to place on top of the chicken instead.

Roasting the Chicken in the Oven

Remove the brick and place the chicken into the preheated oven.

Continue roasting until the chicken breast is 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit and the chicken thigh mea tis 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

The time depends on how big your chicken is and how quickly your oven cooks it. It will be approximately 15 minutes or so, but a thermometer is the best and most accurate way to know for sure.

Adding the Garlic, Lemon and Herbs

Garlic, Lemon and Parsley marry so well with a roasted chicken. However, if you add the garlic and herbs to the chicken right away, they will turn really quickly long before the chicken is cooked through.

That is why I add the garlic about 10 minutes before the chicken is finished cooking.

Combine the oil or butter (you can also use the chicken juices, just spoon them out of the cast iron skillet) in a small bowl with the minced garlic, lemon juice and some dry herbs/spices. (I used a poultry seasoning that had some dry herbs as well as a bit of chili flakes for a bit of heat.)

Spoon the garlic and oil mixture over top of the chicken, all over the surface. Return the chicken to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through, using an instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature in the center of the chicken.


Other Flavor Options

In addition to or instead of the garlic, you can use minced shallot or onion. You can also use lime or orange instead of lemon.

Thyme, oregano, rosemary are also great options to be used to add flavor to the chicken.

You can also add other dry herbs and spices to add flavor to the chicken. Paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, coriander and any poultry seasoning mixes or spice rubs that you like.

Instead of spooning the raw garlic, lemon juice and herbs over the chicken during the last 10 minutes of baking, you can saute the garlic in the pan juices after the chicken is completely cooked and you take it out of the oven to rest.

This way, you don’t have to guess how much longer the chicken needs to cook and will ensure that the garlic will not be burned or undercooked. There’s no guess work and you’ll need to wait for the chicken to rest before serving it anyway.

Serving the Chicken

Let the chicken rest for another 10-15 minutes after taking it out of the oven, allowing the juices to redistribute in the chicken.

Sprinkle the chicken with lemon zest and fresh minced parsley.

 

 

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Chicken Under A Brick

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40-50 mins
  • Total Time: 65 min
  • Yield: 1 whole chicken 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

Chicken Under A Brick is a classic preparation of a whole chicken, which is butterflied and then cooked under a weight, usually a brick. The chicken cooks faster than a typical roast chicken, and you get a really crisp skin on the chicken, since the chicken is pressed directly onto the cast iron skillet you get so much crispiness all over the surface.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 24 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/21 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs/spices, optional
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon freshly minced parsley (thyme, oregano and/or rosemary are also great options)

Instructions

  1. Butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone of the chicken with kitchen shears. 
  2. Flatten the chicken by pressing firmly on the breast bone. (You can also make an incision with the kitchen shears at the top of the breast bone, which will make it easier to flatten the chicken.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Season the chicken liberally on both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Heat 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of oil in a cast iron pan on medium heat. (Make sure that it’s large enough to fit the whole chicken.) When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, breast side down into the skillet.
  6. Place a large brick (wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil), on top of the chicken.
  7. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. (All skillets and stovetops are different, so I suggest checking the chicken every 5-7 minutes, to make sure it’s not burning.) 
  8. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 8-12 minutes, placing the brick on top of the chicken again.
  9. Remove the brick and place the chicken into the preheated oven.
  10. Continue roasting until the chicken breast is 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit and the chicken thigh meat is 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit. The time depends on how big your chicken is and how quickly your oven cooks it. It will be approximately 15 minutes or so, but a thermometer is the best and most accurate way to know for sure.
  11. Combine the oil or butter (you can also use the chicken juices, just spoon them out of the cast iron skillet) in a small bowl with the minced garlic, lemon juice and some dry herbs/spices. (I used a poultry seasoning that had some dry herbs as well as a bit of chili flakes for a bit of heat.)
  12. Spoon the garlic and oil mixture over top of the chicken, all over the surface. Return the chicken to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through, using an instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature in the center of the chicken.
  13. Let the chicken rest for another 10-15 minutes after taking it out of the oven, allowing the juices to redistribute in the chicken.
  14. Sprinkle the chicken with lemon zest and fresh minced parsley.

Keywords: Butterflied Roast Chicken, Chicken Under a Brick, How To Roast a Butterflied Chicken, Roasting a Whole Chicken, How To Cook a Whole Chicken, Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

 

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