Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chicken under a brick

This is a really fun way to grill chicken, and for some reason, using the bricks makes the skin perfectly crispy. It comes out a little charred, but it tastes great.

I started by cutting out the spine and flattening the carcass. To do this, you may need to crack the breast bone. Trim off the wing tips and excess fat. Fat from the chicken will render during cooking, and too much fat dripping off of the chicken and cause flare ups. Next, I mixed together a paste of chopped garlic, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil and spread this both over the surface of the chicken and in between the skin and the flesh of the chicken breast. Its good to get this step done pretty far in advance to let the flavors penetrate the meat.

To set up the grill, spread out coals over about half of the grill. This way you can move the chicken to the cooler side in case it starts to char too much. Make sure the grates are clean and well oiled, and preheat a brick wrapped in foil (use an oven mitt to move the brick around). Place the chicken skin side down and put the brick on top of the chicken. Grill for about 10 minutes over indirect heat, flip and cook for another 15 minutes skin side up, still with the brick on top. Finally, cook skin side down for 5 minutes over the coals to make sure the skin is nice and crispy. When I cooked it, I started the chicken out over the coals, but I thought the skin got a little too charred. I think shifting to indirect heat should solve that problem. Let the chicken rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before carving it up and serving.

I also made grilled potatoes and scallions to accompany the chicken.

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