Chicken under a brick

One of my favourite tricks when barbecuing a butterflied chicken is to weigh it down with a couple of foil-wrapped house bricks. Start with the skin-side down over a low-medium heat - the weight of the bricks ensures the maximum surface area of the skin is in contact with the cooking surface and results in a beautifully burnished crisp skin and juicy succulent flesh.

20 minutes plus marinating time prep.

1 hour cooking

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 free-range chicken, about 1.6kg
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. To begin, you’ll need to butterfly the chicken.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water, pat dry thoroughly with paper towel and place breast-side down on a chopping board.
  3. Cut down each side of the backbone with kitchen scissors (reserve the backbone to make stock if you like).
  4. Remove the rib cage and wishbone, then turn the chicken over, open out flat and press down firmly with the heel of your hand to flatten the chicken out.
  5. Combine oil, lemon juice, thyme and garlic in a container large enough to hold the butterflied chicken snugly in a flat layer, season generously with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in the marinade.
  6. Turn to coat well, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or as long as overnight), turning chicken occasionally in marinade.
  7. Stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  8. Heat a barbecue or large heavy cast iron pan to low-medium heat.
  9. Wrap two house bricks in foil and place on barbecue while it’s heating – if you don’t have house bricks you could heat a cast iron pan instead.
  10. Drain chicken from marinade, place skin-side down on the barbecue and weight with the bricks (if you’re using a cast iron pan, place a layer of foil over the chicken before you place the pan on top).
  11. Cook for 15-20 minutes until a deep golden brown all over, remove bricks, turn chicken over, replace bricks and cook for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through – check by piercing the thighs with a skewer, the juices should run clear; if they have a pink tinge, return the chicken to the barbecue for 5-10 minutes and test again.
  12. Transfer to a tray, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes, then serve with lemon squeezed over.
  13. Enjoy!
RECIPES

Chicken under a brick

One of my favourite tricks when barbecuing a butterflied chicken is to weigh it down with a couple of foil-wrapped house bricks. Start with the skin-side down over a low-medium heat - the weight of the bricks ensures the maximum surface area of the skin is in contact with the cooking surface and results in a beautifully burnished crisp skin and juicy succulent flesh.

20 minutes plus marinating time prep.

1 hour cooking

Serves 4

Ingredients
Method

Ingredients

  • 1 free-range chicken, about 1.6kg
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. To begin, you’ll need to butterfly the chicken.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water, pat dry thoroughly with paper towel and place breast-side down on a chopping board.
  3. Cut down each side of the backbone with kitchen scissors (reserve the backbone to make stock if you like).
  4. Remove the rib cage and wishbone, then turn the chicken over, open out flat and press down firmly with the heel of your hand to flatten the chicken out.
  5. Combine oil, lemon juice, thyme and garlic in a container large enough to hold the butterflied chicken snugly in a flat layer, season generously with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in the marinade.
  6. Turn to coat well, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or as long as overnight), turning chicken occasionally in marinade.
  7. Stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  8. Heat a barbecue or large heavy cast iron pan to low-medium heat.
  9. Wrap two house bricks in foil and place on barbecue while it’s heating – if you don’t have house bricks you could heat a cast iron pan instead.
  10. Drain chicken from marinade, place skin-side down on the barbecue and weight with the bricks (if you’re using a cast iron pan, place a layer of foil over the chicken before you place the pan on top).
  11. Cook for 15-20 minutes until a deep golden brown all over, remove bricks, turn chicken over, replace bricks and cook for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through – check by piercing the thighs with a skewer, the juices should run clear; if they have a pink tinge, return the chicken to the barbecue for 5-10 minutes and test again.
  12. Transfer to a tray, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes, then serve with lemon squeezed over.
  13. Enjoy!
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