chicken under a brick

“Chicken under a brick” is a standard meal in our house because my children love crispy chicken skin, and to be entirely honest... we like our chicken cooked slowly and thoroughly, maybe even well done and then served smothered in some sort of sauce, which was a green garlic pan gravy this week. I don’t know that it’s actually the best way to show off the green garlic, but it’s a great way to use up any extra green garlic, spring onion and/or shallots you might have accumulated from your farm boxes.

I’m including the classic Craig Claiborne recipe that inspired this meal, as well as a more contemporary video of how to spatchcock a chicken. To spatchcock a chicken you just cut out the backbone with kitchen scissors (throw it in that freezer bag with your parsley stems and vegetable ends). I also snip the bit that connects the two breasts so that the bird splays open and lays flat in the pan. I cook it in a cast iron like Craig Claiborne, but I use a little olive oil to get it started and the weight of another, smaller cast iron pot on top and with my mortar and pestle inside of that pot! I cook it slowly this way until the skin is the color I want. Then I flip it over for another 15 or so or throw it in the oven for a bit. When it’s done (160 degrees in the breast and juice from thigh runs clear), I take it out of the pan and add a ton of whatever aliums I have around: sliced green garlic, leeks, shallots, and a little thyme. Once those are soft, I either add some butter or drain some fat so that I have about 3 Tablespoons of fat in the pan. I add 3 Tablespoons of flour to that and cook it out, then add 3 cups of homemade chicken broth and stir until it’s bubbling and thick enough. Sometimes I add the littlest splash of sherry vinegar at the end.

I have never continued to cook the bird in the gravy the way Craig Claiborne does. Instead, I return the bird to the pan, cut it up, and this time I added the toasted ends of Corina’s latest sourdough. 

spatchcock chicken new york times

If you thought that wasn’t a recipe… that’s as recipe-ish as I’m going to get.