Foodie Friday: Brick Chicken

A blunt object brings out big flavor.

Brick chicken, ready to eat.

Chef Cathal (silent t!) Armstrong, the culinary force behind Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria gave us this recipe for Brick Chicken, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Restaurant Eve features a seasonal, rotating menu that puts an emphasis on local produce and products.

“Flattening the chicken exposes the maximum surface area of the chicken skin to the heat of the pan,” Armstrong explains, “which ultimately creates the crackling, crisp exterior; and it makes the meat an even thickness so it cooks more evenly and stays juicy.”


1 4-pound whole grass fed chicken, or poussin (young chicken) backbone cut away.

***Option – use bone in breasts or quartered chicken if you don’t want or don’t have time to butterfly***

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary plus additional sprigs for garnishing

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

coarse Kosher salt

Equipment Needs: Clean, foil wrapped bricks.

I usually butterfly the chicken and make a rub consisting of 5 cloves of garlic that have been smashed with the back of your knife then chopped fine, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a good dose of red pepper flakes and course salt.

Place in a small bowl and drizzle in olive oil, then rub all over the chicken and under the skin (leave some marinade to pour over the chicken when transferring to platter). If you want your chicken spicier, add more red pepper or leave the chicken in the marinade for an hour or two.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-low heat.

Marinade chicken before placing it on the grill:

Place brick atop chicken; grill for about 7 minutes until golden brown, remove brick and turn chicken over. Return brick to chicken and continue to grill until golden, about another 7 minutes. Remove brick and transfer chicken to platter. Drizzle chicken with remaining mixture. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and parsley.

—Serves 4

Back to Smoky Scents and Mouthwatering Flavors for more recipes.

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