Chicken Roasted Under a Brick

Roasted chicken might be fine for any old night of the week, but when you want something really special and elegant, you want Chicken Roasted Under a Brick. Now, before we get going with this, let me confess a couple of things:

1) It is time consuming
2) It is messy
But, once you get all the necessary instruments (and by that, I mean a brick) and the hang of searing the chicken, the rest of this is a breeze. You end up with incredibly crispy skin, a moist interior, and confited shallots and lemon slices. So, without further ado, here is:
Chicken Roasted Under a Brick


1 chicken, skin on, broken down into parts(or 4 legs and 1 breast cut in half)
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
6 shallots or 3 onions, sliced into large pieces
3 lemons (Meyer lemons, if possible)
1 bunch each rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and sage, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Special Equipment:
Brick wrapped in foil
Roasting pan

1) Slice the lemons very thinly and preheat the oven to 350 F (invest in a cheap box of medical gloves to wear while preparing chicken – it really cuts down on the possibility of cross contamination).

2) Layer the shallots, half the herbs, and lemons in the roasting pan and pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over the veggies and put the pan in the oven.

3) Combine the butter, the rest of the herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mash it around so you create a compound butter. This is the seasoning for your chicken.

4) Pour some olive oil in a frying pan on high heat, and when the oil starts to move and shimmer, throw a piece of chicken in there.

5) Lay the brick on top of the chicken. You may need to make sure the brick is touching a side of the pan so it doesn’t slide off the chicken. The chicken will sizzle and oil will splatter (this is the messy part). You are just searing the chicken to get crispy skin – the inside will still be raw when you remove it from the pan, so a high heat is necessary.

6) When the chicken looks like this, or after about 5 minutes, remove it from the pan

and put it on a plate.

7) When all the chicken has been seared, put it in the hot roasting pan from the oven and evenly distribute the herb butter over all the pieces of the chicken. Then put the pan back in the oven.

 8) After about an hour, or when the thickest piece of dark meat chicken has juices that run clear, remove the chicken and serve.

The glory of this chicken lies in how evenly it is cooked. The brick ensures not only that the skin gets supremely crispy, but that the chicken is slightly flattened, so it is easier to cook evenly. Even cooking means that it is finished at the same time, and stays incredibly juicy and tender beneath it’s crunchy skin. The herbs gently sizzle and fry in their buttery sheath, and the lemons and shallots underneath are caramelized at the edges and silky in the center. The lemons are particularly notable – they turn sweet and tender as they confit, and even the peel becomes incredibly sugary. This chicken takes a bit of forethought, but the results are well worth it. Served with a Caesar salad , a loaf of sourdough bread, and some creamed mushrooms, this is a meal fit for a fancy dinner party.
On second thought, screw the whole “fancy” thing. Chicken this tasty deserves to be picked up and eaten with your hands.


  1. This is awsome! I definitely will try it. Thanks. 🙂