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Northern Italian-Style Chicken Under a Brick

Northern Italian-Style Chicken Under a Brick

Any old bricks will do for this purpose--just make sure that they are well wrapped in foil.  The weight of the bricks holds the chicken down firmly and helps to create a crisp crust while the chicken cooks.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 to 6 hours to marinate, plus 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus a few small sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • One 3- to 3 1/2-pound chicken
  • 2 bricks, completely wrapped in aluminum foil
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, zests, herbs, salt, and crushed red pepper. Mix to combine, and set aside.

  • Place chicken on a cutting board. With a boning knife and/or poultry scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Place chicken skin side down, and using a paring or small boning knife, cut underneath and around breastbone on both sides, cutting cartilage away from flesh so that you can work your fingers underneath the bone, and then carefully remove breastbone. The chicken should now lie flat like an open book. Tuck wing tips behind wing joints that meet the breast. Cut small slits in skin that hangs beneath thighs, and tuck tips of drumstick bones inside. Place chicken in a 13-by-9-inch nonreactive baking dish and pour marinade over it. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours, turning chicken occasionally in marinade.

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and preheat a grill to medium-low.

  • Heat bricks in oven for 20 minutes. (Alternatively, heat bricks on grill for 30 minutes.)

  • Remove chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and season on both sides with Original Essence, salt, and white pepper.

  • Place chicken, skin side down, on grill, and set bricks on top of chicken to cover it completely and flatten it. Cook until skin has nice grill marks, about 15 minutes. Then turn chicken 45 degrees and cook until a second set of grill marks forms, creating a crosshatch, about 15 minutes longer.

  • Using pot holders or thick kitchen towels, remove bricks and set aside. Carefully turn chicken over to skin side up. Cook until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from grill, place on a cutting board, and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut chicken into quarters, garnish with lemon slices, and serve immediately.

  • Note: The cooking time may vary slightly, depending on your grill.

Recipe Details