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Chicken Under a Brick

From The Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook

Serves 4 to 6

1 small (about 3 ½ to 4 pounds) fryer chicken
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Remove the backbone from the chicken with a heavy knife or poultry shears. Pull the wings back and fold under the first joint. Make an incision between the breast and thigh and slide the leg joint through to make the chicken sit flat. Arrange on a sheet of parchment in a baking dish.

Rub both sides of the chicken with the olive oil, lemon juice, peppercorns, and salt to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

Wrap a large, heavy brick with aluminum foil. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.


Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken skin side up and put the brick on top of the chicken. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the skin is crispy and darkly browned. Remove the brick, turn the chicken, and replace the brick. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skin is crispy and browned and the meat is cooked through. Cut into pieces and serve.

Enjoy with Cakebread Cellars Rubaiyat or Chardonnay Reserve, or a slightly chilled, fruity, dry red wine or a chardonnay with concentrated fruit and citrus characteristics.




(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)

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