Chicken Under a Brick - Wine Dine With Jeff


  • 3 1/2 to 4 Pound Chicken (Spatchcocked with the backbone removed)
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons of fresh thyme
  • 2 Teaspoons of fresh rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil for herbs and 1 tablespoon for on top of the chicken skin
  • Salt and Pepper in the fresh herbs and salt and pepper on the skin of the chicken


  • 1. Chicken under a brick or just under pressure is my new favorite way to cook chicken it always turns out moist and tender. The reason is that the whole chicken is spatchcocked and that means the backbone of the chicken is removed. This allows the chicken to lay flat so you have overall even cooking between the white and dark meats. One more benefit is that the whole chicken cooks in 30 minutes and stays juicy and tender. I have a few tricks to keep the chicken moist and the skin crispy. Lets start with spatchcocking the chicken. Place chicken breast side down and legs facing you with a strong sharp pair of kitchen shears start cutting from the tail bone straight along the backbone as pictured below.
  • 2. When you make it all the way through one side of the backbone and the chicken is able to open up flip the chicken so the neck is facing you. I do this because I am right handed and it seams easier for me to go along the other side of the backbone this way. Start at the neck and with the kitchen shears cut along the other side of the backbone until the whole backbone is removed from the chicken. Flip the chicken over so that the skin is facing up and with the palm of your hand press down firmly onto the breast plates you will hear the bones crack and the chicken will lay flat. Don't throw away the backbone it is great for chicken stock and also if you want to make gravy
  • 3. Now it is time to flavor the chicken, remove all the rosemary from the hard stem along with the fresh thyme. With your knife cut up the rosemary and thyme into smaller pieces and add them to a small bowl. Add the minced garlic, olive oil along with salt and pepper and stir to combine all the ingredients. Zest your lemon and add the zest to the herb mixture. The olive oil herb mixture will be placed under the skin of the chicken.. This will prevent the herbs from burning on top of the skin during the high heat. With you fingers carefully separate the skin from the chicken without tearing any of the skin. For extra crispy skin make sure the chicken skin is completely dry, just take paper towels and dry off the skin. Take the herb mixture and place under the skin making sure to get all over inside the breast and the thighs. Rub olive oil on top of the dry chicken skin and salt and pepper the skin. That is the only thing going on top the skin because everything else will burn and give you black specks on the chicken..
  • 4. This is called chicken under a brick, but you don't need a brick. It is all about cooking the chicken under pressure. This has gone through my test kitchen using 2 clay bricks wrapped in foil on a cast iron. I have used two cast iron pan one on the bottom and one on top. I have used a good quality stainless steel pan for the base with a heavy cast iron pan on top. I have done many tests and they all come out the same. The only pan I would not use for the base would be a Non stick pan only because some of the non stick pans can not reach up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. My Tip if you are using brick make sure you buy heavy clay bricks and wrap them in foil.. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pans or bricks in the oven for 15 minutes. Until the pans are screaming hot.
  • 5. Carefully pull the screaming hot cast iron pan out of the oven, place the chicken skin side breast side up in the pan. Make sure it is laying flat in the pan with all legs and wings inside the hot pan. Then remove either another hot cast iron pan or the bricks from the oven and place them on top of the chicken and press down. This will be heavy so carefully take these hot pan with the chicken in the middle directly to the oven still at 475 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 30 minutes until the temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Also great tip when the hot pan hits the top of the chicken don't move the pan around because it will stick to the skin and can cause it to tear. .
  • 6. After 30 minutes the chicken should be finished cooking. There will be plenty of rendered drippings in the bottom of the pan to make a gravy if you prefer, you can also cook the chicken backbone with giblets to make an amazing gravy while the chicken is cooking in the oven. Serve with you favorite vegetable and mash potatoes. I hope this becomes your new favorite way to cook chicken.

Recipe Video:

Chicken Under a Brick

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