What does an every day building material and dinner have to do with each other? If you want a perfectly grilled whole chicken with crisp skin and moist white and dark meat finished at the same time – try this simple technique. The chicken should marinate at least 6 hours, but over night is preferable for maximum flavor. The heat and weight from the brick ensures the chicken will cook evenly and the skin will crisp to grilling Nirvana.
For the Chicken:
1 (4 to 5 – pound) Chicken
With the chicken breast side down on a cutting board, using a chef’s knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut the chicken alongside the backbone from the neck to the tail. Repeat on the other side of the backbone and completely remove the backbone from the carcass.
Turn the chicken breast side up on the cutting board and with the heel of your hand press down in the center of the bird to crack the sternum. Press down hard enough to flatten the chicken into two equal attached halves. Place in a shallow dish for marinating.
For the Seasoning/Marinade:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 lemon, zest and juice, + a little juice to drizzle at the end
2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin olive oil + some to drizzle at the end
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon salt, preferably kosher or sea salt
In a mixing bowl combine the garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, black pepper, and lemon juice & zest. Whisk in ½ tablespoon of the salt, then whisk in the oil.
For the Brick:
2 standard bricks or pavers
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Wrap the bricks or pavers in layers of the aluminum foil and reserve.
Charcoal Grilled Chicken Under A Brick With Rosemary & Lemon
Preheat a Big Green Egg, Weber Kettle, or other charcoal grill to medium heat building the fire on one side of the grill. Place the cooking grids on the grill and place the aluminum foil covered bricks inside directly over the fire to also preheat.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing some of the excess olive oil to drain off, and season both sides with the remaining salt. Place the chicken skin side down on the opposite side of the hottest coals. A good trick is to have the drumsticks the closest to the direct heat, as they will take a little longer to cook. Place the hot bricks on top of the chicken and cook skin side down until the skin becomes crispy and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Set the bricks to the side and turn the chicken over to finish cooking another 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest 5 to 10 minutes before carving to allow all of the juices to be reabsorbed.
Carve the chicken into serving pieces and drizzle with a little more lemon juice and olive oil.
The Hearth and Grill Shop is your Super store for Charcoal Grills and both Natural and Propane Gas Grills. Come by this Saturday to see The Best Chicken Under a Brick recipe in action as we cook on a Big Green Egg.