Sunday, January 06, 2013

January Jeliciousness: Brick Chicken

This is a recipe from my friend Lucy. There is some joy to our sharing of the silver foil-wrapped bricks -- or in fact Japanese lawn ornaments found behind my house, great solid logs of moulded concrete -- used to weigh down the bird. Lucy is one of those marvelous cooks who tries new things all the time and I'm always angling for an invitation to dinner. -- MsW

Brick Chicken

When I first met my husband, he dreaded chicken in any shape or form. His reasoning was that his ex-wife cooked him chicken every night of their seven year marriage.
So for the last seventeen years, I have had to gently reintroduce my beloved fowl back to his palate…

I began with a little trickery, Cornish hens and quail, sometimes a pheasant and a duck, but eventually the good old chicken returned to our dinner table. It took some time, but slowly he began to appreciate the good old chicken, as long as it was cooked with some imagination.

I must thank my wonderful butchers, Lindy and Grundy, who stock free range Brick chickens and so now I can slap a good spatchcocked chicken on his plate as a weekly treat!

Our favorite family meal is the BRICK CHICKEN –

One chicken, spatchcocked.
One brick.

A spatchcocked chicken is a word originated from 18th century Ireland. It basically means, “to butterfly”. Basically, you cut the backbone out of the chicken so you can open it up and press it flat.

Rub the chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wrap a builder’s brick in foil.

Heat the BBQ – I always use real charcoal – heat the brick too.
Slap on your chicken flesh side down, and press the hot brick on top.

At this point it is quite important to keep flipping the bird, so that it chars nicely, but doesn’t burn. By flipping, you can get a good gauge of how long each side should take to be succulent.
After about 20 to 30 mins the chicken is beautifully cooked and you just simply cut it in to quarters with a sharp knife and serve with a crispy salad and hot French bread.

-- Lucy Dahl

1 comment:

Mary said...

I cook this on and in the stove. It's our fave.

A little olive oil in a cast iron skillet, then the chicken skin side down. For weights I use another skillet with a couple of 5 lb hand weights in it. Cook about 10 minutes.

Transfer to hot oven (425 or so) and cook another 15 minutes.

Remove the weights, flip the chicken to skin side up, and cook another 10 or 15 minutes (until thigh temp is 160).

I also sometimes make a paste of chopped garlic, butter, salt, and some sort of herb, and shove it under the skin before cooking.

Yum yum.

This is a great series!