Cooking On A Budget: Herbaceous Chicken Under Brick

Monday, June 22, 2015

Herbaceous Chicken Under Brick

A spin on a recipe I did quite some time ago using fresh herbs from our garden ~ something to spruce up an otherwise boring chicken.

Now that our garden herbs are gaining some maturity, I decided to take full advantage of them yesterday in making this delicious herbaceous chicken under brick recipe. We generally use our indoor rotisserie oven but quite frankly I wasn't in the mood for that. What I was in the mood for was something with a little more punch, a little bit elevated and I think I achieved that with the herbed marinade in this chicken recipe.

The herbs I chose all naturally just complement chicken on their own and when all of these come together something wonderful happens. They all blend perfectly and each adds it's own flavor profile to this herb marinade and one doesn't over power the other. The aroma before the chicken gets cooked is incredible - clean, bright, fresh. Then after cooking all those wonderful herbs work cohesively to produce a very flavorful chicken and a nice pan sauce to boot.

For the Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme leave
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves
  • 8-10 chives - cut
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 stems fresh dill ferns
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Peel the garlic and split those large cloves in half or thirds.
  2. Place all of the herbs and garlic in your food processor with salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Turn the processor on and drizzling in the olive oil and blend until the herbs and garlic are chopped fine.

For the Chicken:
  • 4-5 lb. whole chicken
  • 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 above. 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.

What you choose to have for your sides is up to you. We decided on fresh carrots just because we hadn't had them in a while. For the potatoes - well whole canned potatoes. We really like them. During the last 25 minutes of roasting I tossed them in with the chicken and bathed them in the pan juices. When the chicken was done and resting, I made the pan sauce. After the sauce was made, I put a little of the fatty content back in the roasting pan and added in the potatoes to brown up a bit more. Canned potatoes are inexpensive and for pan roasting or stove top browning applications they are great.

This recipe is for those days when you have a bit more time to marinate, time to cook and time to sit and savor the flavor of this delicious chicken with family and friends.

I am so glad to have most of these herbs at my finger tips for cooking this summer as my husband planted a nice herbal garden for me. Cooking with fresh herbs is just a great way of enhancing recipes. Where dried herbs and spices serve well in longer and slower cooking, fresh herbs do best with shorter cooking times and as a last minute addition to "brighten" up or "magnify" the overall flavors.

courtesy of GOOGLE IMAGES

I hope you elevate your next Sunday supper and make this rendition of chicken. It is really not complicated and the end results really are worth the effort. 

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