Grilling: Chicken Under a Brick with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary
Whole chicken has been my go-to winter food. There's something very comforting about a roast chicken and potatoes on a cold, dark night. This winter in New York, the oddity of this "warm" spell has been great for outdoor cooking but it has also, inadvertently, kept me from the chicken I associate with this time of year.
In trying to fulfill that craving, I went out and bought a whole chicken to get on the grill—under a brick. The concept of "chicken under a brick" for chicken cooked in a pan is you place a brick on top to ensure as much skin contact as possible, creating an evenly cooked and crisp skin. The brick concept is somewhat the same for the grill, with the weight flattening the bird for more even cooking.
This starts over direct heat, so the skin can brown and crisp. Beware because the rendering fat also means flare-ups and you'll need to pay special attention to ensure that golden meat does not become fully charred.
Since the skin cooks fairly quickly, it's done before the meat; finish the bird over indirect heat.
At this point I like to play around with flavors. I chose the fitting unseasonably bright flavors of lemon juice, fresh garlic, and rosemary, brushing them on after flipping the chicken. It's juicy and full of flavor with a slight crisp skin that finally delivered on a missing part of my winter tradition.
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.