Cooking On A Budget: Crispy Chicken Under a Brick

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crispy Chicken Under a Brick

I originally posted this recipe back in 2012. Somehow I hadn't made it again until last night. So I took fresh photographs and made the instructions easier to follow. The picture below is a first time photo. This recipe is unbelievably good. At the end of the post will be the plated view and a costing of the chicken dish itself.

"A cook is creative, marrying ingredients in the way a poet marries words" Roger Vergé - Master French Chef

For me one of the best parts of a cooked chicken is the crispy skin. I am blaming my mother for this one - doesn't everyone blame their mother for something? She used to bake chicken wings in the oven and we all "fought" over any of that well seasoned, crispy outer skin that remained on the sheet pan after the wings were pulled off. And, we clamored for the crispy skin of a whole roasted chicken or turkey that had been carefully basted and baked in the oven. That was when my love affair with poultry skin began.
I've spent many an hour trying to achieve that result by continually going back to the oven and carefully basting a whole chicken. I gave up on that and switched to using my Showtime Rotisserie Oven®. The result was much better at producing that luscious outer skin, but nothing compares to the method I will be sharing with you.
The promise is this: you will have moist chicken, cooked to perfection with the most crispy and scrumptious skin.  I cannot take credit for coming up with this method as I was inspired by a the recipe from Anne Burrel. I named the recipe "Chicken Under Brick". As you can guess by the name you will need to foil line a red brick or if you don't have a brick available, you could also use a cast iron skillet.
The marinating process

  • 1 four pound whole chicken
For the Marinade :
  • 4 garlic cloves - finely minced
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary - leaves finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. fresh Parsley - finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
To make a Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth

  1. Wash the chicken under cold water and pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels. Remove the backbone and press down on the chicken to crack the breast bones. Remove the wing tips.
  2. Next, salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in a plastic bag, or a container as shown in the picture. Combine all of the marinade ingredients and rub all over the chicken.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or overnight. Just prior to cooking, remove the bird and allow it to come to room temperature. Tie the legs together with butchers twine.
  3. Coat a large saute pan, a heavy duty skillet or roasting pan with olive oil. Lay the chicken skin side down in the pan. Place another heavy duty skillet or pan lid on top of the chicken along with the bricks and over moderate heat cook the chicken about 5-8 minutes to deeply brown the skin.
  4. Flip the bird over and cook the other side for 2 minutes.  Flip it back over and place the whole thing (bricks and all) in a preheated 400° oven.  Cook for about an hour - until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  5. Remove from the oven and place the chicken on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm while you are making the pan sauce.
  6. Take out some of the fat, then over medium heat de-glaze the roasting pan with 1/2 cup white wine, stir and allow this to reduce by half.
  7. Then add in 1 cup chicken broth, stir and simmer to incorporate all of the flavors and reduce the liquid to half. Spoon this flavorful sauce over the plated chicken.

I had some rosemary left and used the parsley from my garden, however I figured approximately how much it would cost if you had to purchase fresh herbs to make this. This still is a very inexpensive chicken dish at $7.85 and it feeds 4-6 people. The melon was $2.50 for a whole melon on sale and the parslied potatoes cost about $2.20 to make.
Hint: whenever you decide to make a recipe that calls for fresh herbs, look for other recipes that you can use those herbs in. It makes it worth the extra dollar or so you spend on them or purchasing a big bunch of fresh parsley. My store carries little plastic containers of a small amount of the herbs. Very convenient.

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