Tags Posts tagged with "Chicken Under a Brick"

Chicken Under a Brick

South of the Border Chicken

By Barbara Beltrami

When in doubt — whether company is coming for dinner, whether you have house guests, whether you’ve spent the day at the beach, whether you’re on a staycation, whether it’s just too darn hot to even think of turning on the stove or oven, whether you just can’t do another takeout, or whether you simply cannot think what to make for dinner — throwing some chicken on the grill is the default solution.

If you think of it early enough, you can marinate just about any chicken parts in the fridge while you go about your activities. If you decide too late for that, you can pick up the chicken, raid your herb garden or fridge and create a tasty main dish that’s sure to please even the fussiest guests or family members.

Pollo al Mattone (Chicken Under a Brick)

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil

One 4-pound chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

Coarse salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes


Prepare grill to medium, then place bricks on grill to heat up. Remove neck , extra fat, and innards from chicken and discard or save for another use. Place chicken, breast side down on a cutting board and, with poultry shears or a large knife, cut along both sides of spine and remove it. Cut the breast in half lengthwise. Wash chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. 

In a small bowl, combine oil, wine, garlic, rosemary, lemon, salt and pepper and hot pepper flakes. With a pastry brush coat the entire chicken with the mixture. Place chicken halves, skin side down on grill;  place a heated brick on top of each half, close lid and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until skin is crisp and there are dark grill marks\.

Remove bricks, flip the chicken, put bricks back on top and continue to cook  another 10-15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted at thigh joint reads 170F. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let sit about 5 minutes, then cut into 4 pieces.  Serve with corn on the cob and a tossed salad.

South of the Border Grilled Chicken

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Crushed hot red pepper flakes

Lime wedges


Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it almost in half horizontally, then opening it like a book so it lies flat. In a large bowl combine the oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, lime juice, salt and pepper and pepper flakes. Place chicken in bowl and rub it all over with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium. Use marinade to baste only during first 5 minutes of cooking as it has been in contact with raw chicken and must be thoroughly cooked; grill chicken, turning once, until just turning brown but not dark, about 5-10 minutes per side. Serve immediately with lime wedges, salsa and a salad or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Curried Grilled Chicken

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

2 tablespoons warm honey

1 tablespoon curry powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 small onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


Preheat grill to medium. In a large bowl combine oil, mustard, honey, curry powder, salt and pepper, onion, garlic, and cinnamon. Place chicken thighs in bowl and toss to coat evenly with mixture. Place chicken on grill and baste with marinade only during first 5 minutes as it has been in contact with raw chicken and must be thoroughly cooked. Grill, turning once, until cooked through and meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170 F. Sprinkle cilantro  over chicken and serve immediately with rice and grilled peaches.

Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Most likely, it’s not going to be a traditional Memorial Day barbecue this year. No backyard crowded with family and friends and neighbors bearing salad bowls and foil covered platters. No cooler filled with beer and soda on the deck. No trays of hot dogs and hamburgers. Just you and your family or maybe even just you. So … since it’s going to be a different kind of day anyway, why not dispense with the usual menu and go for something different but very easy? How about steak with butter and garlic sauce? Chicken under a brick? A watermelon, feta, arugula and tomato salad? Grilled potatoes and Vidalia onions? And to remember the red, white and blue, how about a strawberry, blueberry and vanilla ice cream tart for dessert?

Watermelon, Avocado, Feta, Arugula and Tomato Salad

YIELD: Makes 4 servings.


1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

4 cups diced watermelon

4 ounces diced feta cheese

4 cups arugula, washed, dried and coarsely chopped

2 large tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a small bowl, toss avocado with lemon juice; set aside. In a large salad bowl, toss together the watermelon, feta, arugula and tomato. Just before serving, add the avocado, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to the watermelon mixture. Toss to thoroughly coat with oil and vinegar. Serve with steak, chicken or any grilled meat or poultry and grilled potatoes and onions.

Steak with Garlic Butter Sauce

YIELD: Makes 4 servings.


One 2-3 pound boneless steak

Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

2 ounces unsalted butter melted

4 cloves garlic, chopped


Preheat grill to hot. Rub steak generously with salt and pepper. Smear one side with two ounces of the softened. Grill, buttered side down, until browned on that side, about 5 to 7 minutes; turn and smear top with remaining softened butter; sprinkle with half the garlic and grill until meat reaches desired doneness. For medium rare, a thermometer should read 135 F, for medium, 140 F, for medium well, 145 F (4 to 7 minutes per side). Reheat melted butter with remaining two minced cloves garlic. Slice steak and drizzle with melted butter mixture. Serve hot with salad and grilled potatoes and onions.

Chicken Under a Brick

YIELD: Makes 2 to 4 servings


1 small chicken, split down the breastbone and pounded flat

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

1 garlic clove,  minced

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

4 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

1 ordinary brick wrapped in foil


Preheat grill to medium-low. Rub all ingredients well into chicken’s skin. Place chicken on grill, weight down with brick and cook until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes each side, or until juices run clear. Serve with grilled potatoes and Vidalia onions and salad

Grilled Baby Potatoes and Vidalia Onions

YIELD: Makes 4 servings.


2 – 3  pounds baby potatoes, scrubbed 

2 Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley


Prick potato skins with a fork. In a large saucepan, parboil the potatoes in salted water until they’re still slightly hard in the center; drain. In a large bowl combine them with the onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes until they have absorbed all the oil. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high. Transfer potatoes and onions to grill basket and grill until potatoes are cooked through and onions start to brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot or warm with steak, chicken or any grilled meat or poultry and salad.

Red, White and Blue Tart

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings


1 pie crust, pre-baked

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

1/2 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

1/2 pint blueberries, washed and drained

1/2 pint raspberries, washed and drained

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar


Spread ice cream evenly in pie crust.  Cover and freeze. Twenty minutes before serving, remove from freezer. In a  medium bowl, toss berries with granulated sugar, then sprinkle or arrange them over ice cream; dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with iced coffee, iced tea or lemonade.