Chicken Under A Brick

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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.


  • 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)


  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.