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Chicken Cooked Under a Brick (al Mattone) with Pomegranate & Herbs

Serves 4

I love this way of cooking chicken. The weight of the brick seems to compress the mat and gives it a firm texture. Since it cooks quicker this way, it comes out very moist and tender with an exceptionally crispy skin (my favorite part!)


2 each Whole Chicken, 2 ½ pounds each)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon thyme, fresh, chopped
2 teaspoon oregano, fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon sage, fresh chopped
to taste salt & black pepper
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons Syrah-Pomegranate Glaze


Cut chickens in half. Remove the backbone and the breast bones, Leaving only the leg bone and the 1st joint of the wing. To make it easier, you can leave the small breast bones, but it is easier to eat with these bones removed.

Combine olive oil and herbs. Then coat chicken halves with the olive oil marinade. Let rest for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. Just before you are ready to cook the chicken, sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper. 

Place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy bottomed pan over medium heat with canola oil. Place chicken skin-side down in the pan.

Wrap a brick in foil and place it on top of the chicken to act as a weight. You will need at least 2 or three bricks.

Cook this way for approximately 8-12 minutes. When the skin is very crisp and golden brown, remove the bricks, turn over the chicken and cook it for just 3-5 minutes on the opposite side to make sure the chicken is fully cooked. If needed, just before serving, flip the chicken one more time to re-crisp the skin. Serve with a Pinot Noir Cranberry Sauce or Pomegranate Glaze.

Chef Bruce Riezenman
September 2009

Eat well!

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