How A Brick Can Help You Get The Crispiest Chicken Thighs

Although some of us are occasionally prone to complaining that chicken is bland, boring, or ordinary, there's no doubt that this endlessly versatile protein is a kitchen staple that lends itself to a variety of dishes. Whether skillet-roasted with lemon, braised with garlic lemon and Greek olives, or baked into a comforting casserole with cream of chicken soup, chicken is one essential ingredient you should make sure to keep in stock at all times.

Whether you're roasting, baking, sautéing, grilling, or frying chicken, there always seems to be debate over the best cooking method. Perhaps, while on a quest for the crispiest skin and moistest meat, you've tried more off-the-beaten-path ways of preparing your poultry. The sous-vide and sear and beer can chicken techniques are prime examples of just how unconventional some of the world's chicken cookery methods are. Wildly enough, those aren't the only odd techniques chefs use. If you've never tried cooking chicken under a brick, you're going to want to try this at home ASAP.

Weighted chicken makes the crispiest chicken

The brick method involves using a heavy object such as a brick or a weighty cast-iron pan to press the chicken onto a hot cooking surface (via the New York Times). This cooking technique results in juicy meat and super-crispy skin. As the chicken is pressed flat against a skillet or a grill skin-side-down, the weight on top quickly renders the fat — leaving a shatteringly crispy piece of skin you'll be dying to sink your teeth in (via AllRecipes).

Many of the brick cooking recipes call for a whole, butterflied chicken. But if you're all about dark meat — or just want a quicker dinner option — chicken thighs take well to this method, remaining moist as their skin crackles to a crisp. To prepare brick chicken thighs, generously salt bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and place them in an oiled cast-iron skillet. Wrap some ordinary bricks or cinder blocks in aluminum foil, place them on top of the chicken, and cook the thighs over medium heat, turning once at the very end until the chicken is browned, crispy, and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a cast-iron skillet instead of bricks. Alternatively, you can cook chicken in a hot oven or on a grill (via Food & Wine). So the next time you've got some extra construction supplies lying around, consider putting them to work in the kitchen.