Grilled Chicken Under A Brick

by lydia on August 24, 2010

Years ago, I’m talking like a decade ago, I watched Bobby Flay do a show on butterflied and grilled chicken pressed down under a brick covered in foil (aka – Brick Chicken).  I had to try it! It was so wonderfully delicious. Years and years past and for whatever reason, I forgot about this delectable way to prepare chicken on the grill.

Thankfully, this summer all my inspiration and drive to cook fun and fabulous food came back. There are many ways to season this style of chicken, so feel free to play around with the components of the recipe, it’s sure to be a win-win! I love this chicken in the heart of summer when tomatoes are at their peak. I like to serve it paired with a super simple heirloom tomato salad with fresh basil vinaigrette. Summer meals are the best, aren’t they?!


Grilled Chicken Under A Brick
Recipe type: Main Dish
  • 1 - 3 to 3½ pound whole pastured chicken, backbone cut out and butterflied
  • A handful of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano or rosemary
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse Celtic sea salt
  • Good quality olive oil
  1. Using poultry shears or kitchen scissors, cut the backbone out of the chicken, then place the chicken cut side down on a cutting board and press down to flatten.
  2. In a blender, place the herbs, garlic, zest and salt. Turn the blender (or food processor) on and slowly drizzle in ⅓ cup of olive oil until well blended to make a thick paste. Add more oil if desired.
  3. Place the chicken in a container or a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the whole bird. Place in the fridge to marinate up to 24 hours.
  4. When ready to cook the chicken, get a hot fire going in your grill, keeping one half of the grill hot and the other half cold. If using a charcoal grill, build your fire only in half of the grill. This won't work well if you only have a teeny tiny charcoal grill. (ask me how I know!)
  5. Place the chicken, breast side down, over the hot side of the fire and place a brick covered in aluminum foil on top (I actually used my cast iron skillet for this as I didn't not have a brick or aluminum foil - I suspect it's a healthier option). Grill for 2-3 minutes just to crisp the skin and flip and repeat on the other side. After the initial browning, move the chicken to the other side of the grill, the 'cold' side, and grill further for 25 minutes or so until a knife inserted into the thigh produces clear running juices.
  6. Return the chicken to the hot side to crisp up the skin again placing the brick or skillet on top. Again 2 minutes per side.
  7. Remove the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  8. Time Involved: Active - 15 minutes
  9. Inactive time - up to 24 hours marinating, 25-30 minutes grilling

Alongside this fabulously grilled chicken, I served an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, which can be quickly whipped up while the chicken is happily grilling away. Or sometimes I go with my Summer’s End Cherry Tomato Salad. Once you try this method of grilling a whole chicken, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to make it constantly. It truly is amazing.

Meal Planning Help

If you’re interested in using a meal planning service, I highly recommend Real Plans. I have been using them lately and they have been a true lifesaver. Many of meal ideas and recipes for this week were inspired by this service. Real Plans is a meal planning service that you can join (monthly or annually) and have access to their amazing database of recipes. Each week, they map out a meal plan for 5 breakfasts and 6 dinners and some extras to have on hand. It’s very customizable and user-friendly.

What’s on your meal plan for this week? Share in the comments….




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girlichef August 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

This is hands-down one of my favorite ways of preparing chicken! It’s so logical…and so primal to me (strange??)!! This sounds delicious…thanks for sharing it w/ Two for Tuesdays this week =)

alex@amoderatelife August 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Lydia! YOu totally did this on purpose to tease me! This is one of the recipes that really attracted me in your August E-book! I have had brick chicken before and it is one of the most tender and interesting ways to prepare the chicken! Really looking forward to seeing your September Ebook and doing a little promo with you! :) thanks for sharing on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop. Alex@amoderatelife

Butterpoweredbike August 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I’ve gotten so that no matter what type of poultry I’m cooking, I spatchcock it. It makes for quicker and more even cooking. Thanks for linking up with Two for Tuesday.

Christy August 24, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Just to show how little I know about real foodie cooking – I have NEVER heard of this preparation and I am sure my husband will think I am crazy when I ask him to cook it this way – but it sounds AMAZING! Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!

Debra E August 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Am loving your Basil Vinaigrette, except that I use cilantro instead of basil. LOVE!

lydia May 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Glad to hear it!

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