March 5, 2010 by Flora Dawn
The first time I saw a recipe for this I thought it sounded crazy, but then I got Weber’s Real Grilling cookbook and I read the description and saw a picture. It seemed a bit unconventional to me, but it really reduced the cooking time for a whole chicken and it seemed worth a try. The results are amazing.
Whole chickens are usually fairly inexpensive, and go on sale for less than $1 a pound quite frequently, making this one of the most economical main dishes I can think of. The skin gets crispy and the meat stays very juicy and tender. The rub is simple, but adds the right amount of flavor. It is my absolute favorite way to cook a whole chicken. And I don’t actually own bricks, I just use a heavy cast iron skillet and it does the trick. The hardest part is probably cutting the backbone out of the chicken, this is necessary to flatten the chicken; you can use a knife, but kitchen shears will work better. Don’t worry if you don’t do this part perfectly, mine never look pretty, you just want the chicken flat. You might want to watch for flare-ups, as you can see in the picture mine got a little blackened, but it was still very good; you can also see how tender the meat is, it is practically falling right off the bone.
Chicken Under Bricks
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp granulated onion
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.
- 1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds, excess fat removed
- vegetable oil
- 1 cup your favorite bbq sauce, optional
- Place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using a knife or poultry shears, cut along the backbone and remove it. Open the chicken like a book and flatten as much as possible; cut and discard wing tips.
- Season the chicken with the rub.
- Place the chicken, skin side down, on the grill over indirect high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of a baking sheet with oil. Place the baking sheet on top of the chicken and weight it down with foil-wrapped bricks or a cast iron pan (I actually oil the bottom of my cast iron pan and place it directly on the chicken, why wash a baking sheet if you don’t have to?).
- Grill until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
- Using pot holders, carefully remove baking sheet and bricks/pan. Using a wide spatula, carefully release chicken from grate and move to medium high heat and grill 5-10 minutes more (I like to flip chicken at this point to get nice skin on both sides, but the original recipe doesn’t do this).
- Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Cut chicken into serving pieces and serve with bbq if desired.