Brick and Mortar

Perfect chicken, no oven necessary

It's hard to believe that the secret to crisp, golden-skinned chicken lies in a hardened piece of clay. But Cathal Armstrong's recipe for brick chicken uses a reliable trick. Armstong, the owner of D.C.'s new Virtue Feed & Grain, places a brick on a whole, split chicken while it cooks, locking the flavor-packed meat in a crackling crust. Not only does the technique create a succulent bird, but flattening the chicken also reduces the cooking time and keeps every step relegated to the stovetop so it's a weeknight feast done quickly.

Recipe adapted from Cathal Armstrong, Virtue Feed & Grain, Alexandria, Virginia

Brick Chicken
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Cathal Armstong, the owner of D.C.'s new Virtue Feed & Grain, places a brick on a whole, split chicken while it cooks, locking the flavor-packed meat in a crackling crust.
Servings
2
servings
Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • ΒΌ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 4-pound whole grass-fed chicken, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you)
Directions
  1. Combine the garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Rub two-thirds of the marinade all over the chicken and under the skin.
  2. Prepare your grill for direct medium-low heat or heat a cast-iron pan over a medium-low flame. Place the chicken on the grill or pan skin side down. Place a foil-wrapped brick or a heavy cast-iron skillet on top of the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the brick and turn the chicken over. Place the brick on the chicken again and continue to grill until the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.
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