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27
Apr
2009

Chicken under a brick

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Yes, I said it. Chicken under a brick. It’s what’s for dinner. We’ve enjoyed this before. The following is a reprise from an earlier post on this dish, published at the old blog:

Yet another proven recipe from the fine folks at, er, Fine Cooking. Chicken marinated overnight in olive oil and herbs, seared on one side under bricks wrapped in foil, then turned before the skillet is placed in a hot oven to finish (sans bricks). No, it’s not health food. But that’s what portion control is for.

A representative image of the chicken minus the masonry:

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As before, I’m using leg quarters rather than a whole carved bird. If you’d like to learn about that full process – including partially deboning the chicken prior to cooking – check out the magazine article by Joseph Verde, formerly chef de cuisine at Oscar’s at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC and currently director of food and beverage for InterContinental Hotels Group.

Later on: The dish was a complete success, as this particular dish always is. Some more pics for those of you who just can’t get enough of this stuff:

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On a whim, I decided to demonstrate an alternate approach to weighing down the chicken pieces in the pan. After all, not everyone lives in a masonry capital like St. Louis; bricks may be hard to come by for some. Here, I’ve used a straight-sided saute pan whose bottom will evenly distribute pressure to the two leg quarters, weighed down by a ten-pound dumbbell. The dumbbell is sitting on top of the flat of a broiler pan so that the saute pan won’t get scratched.

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With the skin side of the chicken suitably browned, we discard the weights and flip the pieces. One leg quarter turned here; the other about to be.

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And…done. The chicken is accompanied by shredded, sauteed Brussels sprouts, as the recipe recommended. My shredding reduced the sprouts to something more like a fine slaw, but I sauteed it anyway in a couple tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper. I thought it tasted pretty good. As for the chicken – *drooling noise occasionally made by Homer Simpson* – the skin was so crisp and flavorful, the meat so tender and moist, that my only regret was that I hadn’t cooked an entire bird. Recommended, indeed.

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