Bricks and Mortar Chicken


  • 1 (3-pound) fryer
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely minced
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from one lemon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 bricks, wrapped in heavy foil

Using a sharp, boning knife, split the chicken lengthwise into 2 halves. Remove the backbone, breastbone and the first 2 joints from each wing. Rinse chicken well and pat dry. Place the 2 halves on a large cookie sheet, skin side down. In a small mixing bowl combine rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Spoon half of the mixture evenly over the 2 chicken halves, rubbing well into the meat. Turn chicken over, skin side up, and repeat the process making sure to rub the seasoning above and under the skin. Cover chicken with clear wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet, skin side down, and immediately place 2 foil-covered bricks on top, pressing down to flatten the chicken. Let cook, undisturbed, until skin side is crispy, approximately 15 minutes. Remove bricks, turn chicken over and replace bricks. Continue cooking for an additional 12-15 minutes or until thigh meat is cooked thoroughly. Depending on portion size, this recipe serves 4 quarters or 2 halves.

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