Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chicken Under a Brick – Worth the Weight?

The problem with posting a video like this "Chicken Under a Brick," is that as soon as it goes live, I’ll start getting emails from people asking if they should do this instead of our other roast chicken videos, like salt roasted chicken, or ultimate roast chicken, or million-dollar chicken, or…well, you get the idea.

The answer is yes and no. You should definitely try this, since it really does produce a gorgeous, juicy, and flavorful bird; and yet you don’t need to, because those other recipes are totally working for you. I know, I’m not being much help.

What I find so interesting about this method is how the weight of the bricks seem to give the meat a slightly firmer, somewhat compressed texture. It’s hard to describe, and I’m not 100% sure it’s even actually happening, but I really believe there’s something unique about this technique.

You should use a big cast iron pan for this, but it will also work in a high-quality, heavy-duty stainless steel pan, or other oven-proof skillet. The key is to heat it very well before the chicken goes in. Other than that, there’s really no way to screw it up, unless you under or overcook it, which won’t happen, since you're going to check it with the thermometer.

By the way, I was kidding about using local, artisan bricks made from reclaimed clay. Since I live in San Francisco, I figured I better clarify that. I really hope you give this fun and effective chicken under brick recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 whole, fully-dressed chicken (mine was 3 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper to taste
dried or fresh herbs on the inside only

- Roast at 425 F. for 25 minutes, turn and continue cooking until chicken is done (165 F. internal temp in thigh). Broil on high for a few minutes to finish crisping skin.

19 comments:

Chris K. said...

I totally love the idea of this technique, but I just can't get behind it without knowing where you buy your artisan tin foil. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

cydoroga said...

Chef, this is realy good. Thx!
By the way, instead of breaks you can use just a plate - put it on chicken up side down and put smthg heavy to the top of it (jar with water).
This plate will work like a lead but not really like a lead)
U can read much more about this technic cooking the chicken if find recipe "chicken tapaka"
Sry for my english)

Ian :) said...

Nips outside to hunt for bricks... :)

king4aday said...

Hello,
wouldn't it make sense to preheat the bricks too? I'm not sure if it would overcook it before the skin gets crispy though.

gio37777 said...

this is a good technique chef.And Chef John,what king of oven do you have?(what model;what brand?)

Chef John said...

I guess you could heat the bricks first, but what's the advantage? Not sure that's worth saving five or 10 minutes, but feel free!

Chef John said...

I have a GE monogram.

Daniel Bottoms said...

Love this technique too! May i ask if that jeu you're dipping the chicken in at the end just the drippings from the pan? or did you make a bit of gravy? I couldn't tell... thanks for inspiration!

And Bells said...

Chef John
Would you get similar results with an outdoor propane grill?

Michael Chrush said...

Can you use an indoor grill pan for this technique?

Daniel Bottoms said...

oopps sorry. derp moment. i retract my comment above. after watching again (this time without my son on my lap... who was being very mischievous) I heard you say you deglazed your pan with chicken stock :D

SORRY!

Allieinsa1 said...

Chef John, you should totally introduce people to grilled Piri-Piri Chicken!!!!

David Rinker said...

Whelp. Tried two times and still not crisy after the initial roast (broiler helps)

Notice that there's quite a bit of fat/juice after the 25 minutes and think that must be keeping it from getting properly crispy. Wondering if I dumping off some off this juice earlier during the bake would help. How crispy should/can it be after the first, skin side down stint in the oven?

David Rinker said...

Whelp. Tried two times and still not crisy after the initial roast (broiler helps)

Notice that there's quite a bit of fat/juice after the 25 minutes and think that must be keeping it from getting properly crispy. Wondering if I dumping off some off this juice earlier during the bake would help. How crispy should/can it be after the first, skin side down stint in the oven?

Chef John said...

Was the chicken dry when you started? Is your pan hot enough when the chicken goes in? No the chicken is not super crispy until it hits the broiler, but you shouldn't get a lot of liquid in the pan. I guess pouring it off would help, but I would save that and use to deglaze the pan.

Luccien Fitzpatric said...

just made this have not ate it yet but it look good only thing is that the skin of the bird turned a bit dark and the skin ripped a bit i'm not sure if this was do to a smaller pan or I heated my pan too hot or I trimmed a bit of the fat before cooking

Chris S said...

Hey chef,
Amazing video as always. Quick question i would love to serve this as two half chickens for me and my partner. Would it be better to cut it in half before or after you cook it. Thank you!

Chris S said...

Hey chef,
Amazing video as always. Quick question, i would love to serve this as two half chicken dinners for me and my partner. Would it be better to cut the chicken in half before or after cooking? Thank you!

Michael said...

Hey Chef, thanks for this video. I've NEVER baked a good chicken before, but this method is so simple and it came out amazing!!! I've never had chicken that was as juicy as it was when I followed your recipe.
Keep up the amazing video's.
Mike