We've spent a lot of time with friends around a campfire, sharing stories, cooking and toasting to new memories. Throughout the years, traditions passed under fire light have taught us how to master many of the recipes we feature on the Over + Under Journal like Mark's Famous Breakfast Sandwich. In this journal we are excited to share our favorite way of cooking brick chicken.
The use of the brick in this process is crucial for two reasons: by flattening the chicken it allows it maximizes the surface area of the meat and creates the crispy, crackling skin; and it makes the chicken an even thickness so it cooks more evenly - overall the breast and thighs cook at the same rate while containing the juices to intensify the flavor.
After rinsing your whole chicken, turn the chicken breast side down on the cutting board and remove the backbone with poultry shears or a sharp chef's knife. Cut along one side of the backbone and then back down the other side. Remove backbone and discard. Cut through the breastbone from inside until the chicken folds out like a book and lays flat. Pat chicken dry and brush all sides with olive oil. Season chicken all over with fresh ground black pepper, course grain salt, and rosemary.
As always, the key to the best flavor is the cast iron skillet you are using. The older and more seasoned it is, the better your bird will taste. To start, make sure your skillet it hot. Really hot. We recommend achieving this temperature by placing your skilled in a 500 degree over for roughly 10 minutes. Slip on your Ball and Buck Pot Holder to keep your hands safe from the burning handle.
Once the skillet is hot, place your chicken in the skillet, skin side down, including any additional remaining bits of rosemary. Place aluminum covered bricks on top of chicken to add in weight. Cook over medium high to high heat for roughly five minutes then transfer to oven, being sure to remove the pot holder. Broil in oven, skin side up for additional 15 minutes. Roast for additional 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Let rest to contain juices. Chicken should be crispy on the outside but moist on the inside.