Grill season is here and you don't want to be left in the lurch when grill-heavy events like Independence Day, Labor Day and Summer Solstice occur. One of my favorite recipes for the summer grill is called Chicken Under A Brick.
What's great about this recipe is that you get a massive amount of flavor with the least amount of hassle. In this recipe, you actually do cook the chicken under a brick! This serves to condense the flavorful spices and herbs you use to season the chicken into the meat for a wonderful, tasty result.
Combine the herb mixture with sea salt, ground pepper, and chopped garlic for a potent summery flavor!
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
Whole leaves of rosemary, thyme, tarragon and sage
Preheat grill to 400F. In a bowl, mix all spice mixture ingredients.
In order to get all this goodness you need to butterfly the chicken (or "spatchcock") it. Yep, give it a good spatchcocking...which, in layman's terms, means to halve the chicken by removing its backbone. Doing this allows you to flatten the chicken, making it all the same thickness.
Butterflying the chicken allows the breast meat and the thigh meat to cook at the same pace. As a plus, most of the fat of the chicken will slowly melt away. The chicken will cook in this fat, which creates an immensely savory juice. This juice will help to crisp the outer layers of skin for one amazing flavor: crispy outside but tender and juicy on the inside. It is best to use a 3 to 4 pound chicken.
Dust chicken with spice mix (store extra in a glass jar); sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Seasoning can vary to personal taste; however, my personal favorite is a medley of fresh chopped herbs. Steep whole leaves of rosemary, thyme, tarragon and sage in extra virgin olive oil. Strain the fresh herbs reserving the oil to brush the skin of the chicken. Combine the herb mixture with sea salt, ground pepper, and chopped garlic for a potent summery flavor (tip: make a little extra infused olive oil for salad dressing to compliment the chicken).
You'll want to loosen the skin of the chicken to create pockets to insert the garlic and herb mixture. Brush the skin of the chicken with the remaining infused olive oil.
Coat a cast-iron frying pan or ovenproof saute pan with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium-high heat 1 minute.
Once the grill reaches the desired temperature, remove the bricks (use heavily padded grilling gloves), place the chicken face down on the grill, and place both bricks evenly on top.
You'll only need to grill the chicken for about 15 minutes if you want an even, crisp flavor. After 15 minutes, check to see if your chicken has browned to your liking. If not, continue grilling for 2-5 minutes more.
Once complete, you're ready to enjoy a tuscan-style chicken dish without the blood, sweat and tears that normally goes into grilling. This dish is best served with lemon wedges and your favorite summer ale.