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Grilled Citrus Chicken Under a Brick

Grilled Citrus Chicken Under a Brick

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  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 3/4 pounds), neck and giblets removed, butterflied
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 foil-wrapped bricks or 1 cast-iron skillet

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk juices, olive oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and garlic in glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Turn to coat; chill 2 hours, turning occasionally. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

  • Mix remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and pepper in small bowl.

  • Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Slice 1/2 orange into 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry. Loosen skin from chicken breast and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and breast. Loosen skin from thighs and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and thighs. Rub paprika mixture over both sides of chicken. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Place foil-wrapped bricks or cast-iron skillet atop chicken (if using bricks, position 1 brick over top half of chicken and 1 brick over bottom half). Cover and grill until skin is crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bricks or skillet. Using tongs or 2 large spatulas, turn chicken. Replace bricks or skillet and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, place whole orange on grill and cook until slightly charred, turning often, about 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over chicken.

Reviews Section

Herb & Citrus Chicken Under a Brick

Pollo al mattone is the Italian name for a chicken that’s pressed under bricks to speed up cooking and create a very crisp skin. Traditionally made in a cast-iron skillet, this version is hot off the grill. Either a whole butterflied chicken or chicken halves work beautifully. The zesty marinade makes the most of those later summer herbs that overrun the garden.

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Step 1: Preparing the Cornish Hens or Chickens: Unwrap Cornish hens or chicken. Remove giblets from cavity rinse and pat dry. Place Cornish hens or chicken on cutting board breast-side-up with open cavity facing you. Using poultry shears or kitchen scissors, cut through the entire length of the breast area. Flatten Cornish hen by pressing firmly down with both hands to so it resembles one large flat section. (Or ask the butcher where you shop to split and flatten the Cornish hens or chicken for you.)

Step 2: Prepare Marinade: Select a Marinade and mix all ingredients.

Place Cornish hens or chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass baking dish. Add Marinade turn to coat Cornish hens or chicken evenly. Seal bag or cover dish. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight for best flavor.

Step 3: Prepare Bricks and Grill: One brick will be needed for each Cornish hen and two for the chicken. If necessary, rinse bricks before using. Wrap each brick in 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Ensure that grilling surface is clean and ready to use. If using nonstick cooking spray, apply only to a cold grilling surface.

Step 4: Grilling: Preheat grill 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low (target cooking temperature is 325°F to 350°F). Remove Cornish hens from Marinade. Place skin-side down on preheated grill. Carefully and quickly position bricks on top of Cornish hens close lid. Discard any remaining Marinade. Grill Cornish hens 20 to 25 minutes or chicken 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked through, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove bricks using oven mitt, turn Cornish hens or chicken and place bricks back on top to finish cooking.


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Chicken under bricks

The man in an apron casually tongs quartered slabs of zucchini off the hottest part of the grill to the cooler edges, where they can be turned to expose angled stripes of caramelized flesh. Then peppers, yellow and red and blistered, and saucer-sized portabello mushrooms too. And finger-thick spears of asparagus, now freckled brown and fire-kissed.

The flesh of filleted salmon is weeping surface puddles of its own oils. The swordfish steaks have been turned, and there is a crackle over the heat the translucent red of sliced ahi tuna has disappeared beneath a checkerboard cladding of white and flame-brown.

The lid comes up on the adjacent grill, and the patio fills with the summer smells of smoke, cauterized rosemary and melted garlic over roasting meat. The bones on the rack of lamb are as clean and white as piano keys.

To the right, another man tongs the chops -- the dainty rounds of lamb are heaped atop the skillet-sized planks of Midwestern pork. That way the smaller pieces of meat will not overcook. On another fire, he lifts the lid on the beef -- strip steaks, marbled and cut as thick as your wrist, sprinkled with garlic and pepper, charred but still plump and glistening.

In a swirl of aroma, smoke and heat-haze, the meat is pulled off the fire to rest.

The relaxed murmur of patio conversation fades to quiet as appetite and anticipation become urgent.

We have invited ourselves to lunch at the home of the Weber kettle. The man at the center of things, the man working the fish and vegetable grill, has kettle in his genes.

Jim Stephen grew up with a father whose tinkering strove for the impossible: an invention that would improve on the cooking technique of our caveman progenitors. Improbable as it seems, he found it. In 1951, George Stephen transformed a Chicago Harbor buoy into a lidded, grated and vented kettle that changed the world’s concept of backyard cooking.

It’s a word too easily thrown around these days, but icon is no stretch at all when it comes to this ridiculously simple -- and so far, unbeatable -- invention.

In short form, the story goes like this:

George Stephen inherited from his father controlling interest in Weber Bros. Metal Spinning Co. of Chicago. Among other things, the firm shaped sheets of metal into harbor buoys.

In the boom years following World War II, George joined a migration of prosperity into the suburbs. The how-to magazines of the era were full of project ideas for gracious living in the expanded backyard spaces of these new neighborhoods, and backyard fetes were an emerging pastime of the new American leisure lifestyle. In his yard, George erected a massive standing grill and cooking station of yellow brick -- an artifact that has since been moved to the entry patio at the headquarters of Weber-Stephen Products Co. in Palatine, Ill.

He invited friends and neighbors over for the inaugural cookout. “Everything got burned,” Jim recounts. “According to my mom, he was fit to be tied.”

At this point, we acknowledge a cliche: The American male does not take defeat at the grill lightly.

George began his quest for a better way. His inspiration: round instead of rectangular, like a buoy. The top could serve as a lid, which would control temperature so that everything didn’t get burned.

Friends came over to see. They laughed. Whoever heard of a backyard grill that looks like a buoy, they said.

Born just one year before the kettle, Jim grew up in a world where dad’s success was proven every night, all week long, winter as well as summer. The purpose of a snow shovel was to keep a path to the grill. A rite of passage in the Stephen family occurred when a youngster was old enough to start the fire.

George died in 1993, and son Jim is now chief executive of the privately held family company that employs 2,200 people in the business of making the world’s best-known backyard grills.

Outdoor grilling is different from cooking in the kitchen -- countless experts and hundreds of grilling cookbooks are testimony to the belief. Yet when it comes to the kettle, they are mostly wrong.

Yes, the smoke of charcoal dusts food with flavored sprinkles of ash -- ancient flavors that can be adjusted according to type of charcoal or the addition of various varieties of wood chips or scattered herbs. And gas grills have come very close to doing the same thing by transforming drippings into smoke.

But the actual process of cooking?

On a standard 22 1/2 -inch grill, 25 briquettes on each side of the charcoal grate, or the equivalent in lump charcoal, creates a temperature of about 350 degrees on the middle of the cooking grate. That’s the default roasting temperature of a standard oven, and it’s called “indirect” grilling.

With the cover down and the vents open to draw air through the fire, the effect is like grill-roasting in a convection oven -- slightly faster than a still-air oven.

Spread the charcoal out in a single layer and you have a surface cooking temperature of 550 to 600 degrees. That’s equivalent to a broiler, or “direct” cooking. Again, open vents are necessary to supply the fire with oxygen and the grill lid contains the heat, as well as controlling flare-ups.

“If we can teach those simple facts to consumers, that’s where they get their confidence,” explains Mike Kempster, Weber’s executive vice president, a 34-year veteran of the company and today’s luncheon cook on the steak and chop grills.

Many contemporary grilling cookbooks emphasize these principles, as does Weber’s own owner’s manual, although some grillers are still slow to take the leap of faith. Let’s also recognize that no small number of successful grillers -- men, raise your hands -- prefer to maintain the illusion that there is some primitive magic at work in harnessing fire rather than simple instructions to be followed.

Beyond the two temperatures of direct and indirect cooking, arrangement of charcoal beneath the grate can serve the same as knobs on a kitchen oven, providing a full range of possibilities.

Ramping charcoal toward one side of the kettle creates a hot side to sear a steak. Then the meat can be moved toward the middle, where the charcoal is disbursed underneath in a loose single layer, to bring the meat to doneness. Leaving the other side of the grill with no charcoal below creates a warming oven for such things as fast cooking vegetables or shellfish.

Varying the burners on a gas grill accomplishes the same effects.

Not that there should be much mystery to grilling anymore: According to survey data collected by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Assn., 72% of American households have an outdoor grill of one brand or another. In households with four or more people, the number jumps to 87% -- putting the grill not far behind television as a family pastime.

The association further found that slightly more than half of grillers cooked outside year around. Men are still more likely than women to grill -- by about 2-to-1, but women are more apt to decide when and what to grill.

West of Palatine in the suburb of Huntley, the ground near Interstate 90 rumbles.

Presses two stories tall with the force of 500 tons stamp sheets of steel into the apple shapes of lids and kettles in sizes small, standard and feed-the-neighborhood. As manufacturing goes, production of the charcoal kettle is as straightforward as its design: handles, a lid-hook and leg sockets are welded onto the stamped kettles, which are then dusted with powdered glass and fired to 1,540 degrees to create a porcelain-enamel cladding.

Exactly how this is done and the Willy-Wonka machinery to do it, however, is cloaked in secrecy visitors to the plant must sign a pledge not to reveal certain details.

“We think there is something valuable that the consumer gets if we have our hand on the manufacturing,” says Jim Stephen, about why the company keeps most production here at home.

That’s not the only way that the Weber kettle defies conventional corporate wisdom. From the start, it was designed to not grow obsolete or wear out.

A few years back, the company held a contest to find the oldest grill in use. The winner was an Illinois doctor who inherited the grill from his mother. It had been cooking steadily for the family since 1955. Before he accepted his prize of a new gas grill, the doctor asked, “Will it cook as well?”

In Schamburg, Ill., the company maintains a round-the-clock, 364-day-a-year toll-free hotline to answer grilling questions (closed Christmas). Jane Olsen, who has been handling calls for eight years, gets plenty of questions about how long to cook various foods, or how to order new parts for gas grills. She also gets calls from kettle owners whose only purpose, she thinks, is grasping for a straw, any reason at all, to justify buying a new grill, maybe the kettle with the removable ash-catcher. Their stubborn old grill won’t give up, but the new and the shiny still beckons.

Jim Stephen says there are two good excuses to get a new Weber: send the old one to college with a child (he’s made way for three new ones that way). Or expand your social life “to the point when one grill isn’t enough.”

The bulletin board at Weber’s customer service center is papered with testimonials, including some where Stephen’s advice is taken to the extreme. A man in Hornell, N.Y., said his Fourth of July party has grown from 15 guests to 135. He included a picture of his 11 grills.

According to the industry trade group, the average grilling household has 1.6 outdoor grills.

Americans deep in their passions are always a thing to behold. Another letter on the wall from Bellville, Minn., contained a photograph of a faceless figure beneath a parka, leaning into windblast of a blizzard. Dad grilling dinner. In Salina, Kan., a couple testified to “a long-term love affair with our Weber,” which they named “Big Red” it was a wedding gift 35 years ago. For some reason, a good number of grillers posed their dogs with their kettles -- perhaps drawing a connection between backyard friends they can count on.

On the patio of Weber’s modest low-rise headquarters, in the 90-degree sun of a Midwestern afternoon, with crab-apple trees providing ambience but no shade, lunch is served.

It is an absurd feast: mountains of food and a table for just four. Weber test cook Edna Schlosser has prepared the menu -- simple ingredients, cooked simply and simply delicious. A grill may function pretty much like a kitchen oven, but a kitchen appliance cannot carry you back on that magic-carpet ride to the antediluvian past where fire, friends and food first converged.

While we eat, Schlosser briefly sears slices of pineapple, peaches and whole strawberries -- fruit that becomes crispy warm on the outside while staying juicy cool beneath.

Inside the headquarters building, other executives and workers at Weber clear off their desks. This food is for all comers. It’s a company ritual as old as the grill itself.

Going back to the beginning, inventing the Weber kettle was only half of George Stephen’s challenge. He had to sell the idea of cooking outdoors in the round to people who took one look and laughed. So he put his kettle in the car and headed to shopping centers to make lunch for strangers.

In those postwar years the man in the gray flannel suit expressed his wild-side yearnings in the “tiki” fantasies of Polynesia. George Stephen met them at the door of Marshall Field’s and other department stores in the cities ringing Chicago. Come join us, he would say, we’re having a Weber luau.

“One on one, he’d show people what this barbecue could do -- one barbecue at a time,” says son Jim. “It’s the little grill that could.”

Like the baseball cap, the Weber kettle is one of those few things that Americans share across their cultural divides.

You can strive for the elegance of a whole king salmon or keep it simple, with hot dogs and wings either way, the kettle grill belongs to you. Webers are found on patios overlooking formal gardens in Beverly Hills and in the pit parking lots of NASCAR races.

As with the baseball cap, you can spend a little more -- or very much more -- for the sake of standing out, making a statement or pleasing your eye.

Gas grills from Weber and other manufacturers now reach for the stars in style. Some people will tell you that these grills are not just more stately but more convenient as well.

But here is a secret, and you can pass it around: Every gas grill in every backyard in every corner of the world -- each and every last one of them -- aspires to nothing except to try and equal that old sawed-in-half lake buoy with a bed of ash-covered, blistering hot coals in its belly.

Good gas grills have given up their “lava rocks” of the 1970s and taken on modern updates that reduce flare-ups and provide smoke that gives backyard grilling its transcendent and timeless essence.

Still, Jim Stephen can detect a difference in the taste of food. “Yes, but I’m not your average person in this matter,” he explains. Mike Kempster can tell almost always.

The residual carbon created by wood, baked in its own heat -- which is what we call charcoal -- is unmatched in its capacity to impart flavor to food while delivering the energy to cook it. In lightly colored meat, like pork, the effect can been seen, not just tasted. Slice open a pork roast and there is a reddish layer under the seared surface, the gift of wood smoke.

George Stephen, it is said, never failed to distinguish this echo of the ancient past in food cooked over charcoal.

Yes, he discovered how to control the fire. But no one has been able to beat the fire itself.

From observing and interrogating the pros at Weber, after careful reading of Weber’s several cookbooks, including the invaluable “owner’s guide” pamphlet that comes with new grills and concisely demystifies much of the process, and with 30 years of backyard practice over a kettle, here is an opinionated tutorial on grilling.

* Know your terminology. In contemporary food speak, a grill is a grill barbecue is a method of cooking using a low temperature smoke-fire over a long interval. But if you prefer the retro view of Weber Chief Executive Jim Stephen, a barbecue can be both a grill and a description of the social event.

* Use tongs. A fork does the same to your food as it would to a can of beer ahead of serving.

* Oil the food, not the cooking grate. But understand, you’re taking sides in one of the most enduring debates in the game.

* There is no argument, however, on the need to heat the grate to sizzle before cooking.

* Try lump charcoal. Just as there are choices in what to cook, there are options for what to cook upon. Of the 1 million tons of charcoal sold in the U.S. last year, barely 10% was specialty lump charcoal, but that percentage has grown fivefold in a decade. Aficionados claim advantages in flavor, and they note that lump charcoal -- still in the recognizable shape of wood -- is free of what one major briquette manufacturer acknowledges are “ingredients other than charcoal” in its charcoal.

* Keep the lid down. Or as the Weber folks are fond of saying, “If you’re looking, it ain’t cooking.” You’ll get argument here too. But the lid also dampens flare-ups.

* When variable temperatures are desirable on a grill, which is often, you can mound briquettes in the center, leaving the outer rim of the grill cooler. Or ramp the charcoal toward one side to make room for warm to furnace-hot.

* If you close the vents after removing your food, the fire will choke out and leave half-consumed briquettes, which are perfectly acceptable for reuse.

* You are holding foolproof charcoal starter in your hand right now. Conserve petroleum for cars, which need it. A crumpled sheet of newspaper and one match under a simple grill chimney will have your fire ready just as you finish your martini.

* To maintain temperatures for long-cooking food, such as a whole turkey, follow this formula: For a standard 22 1/2 -inch grill, use 25 briquettes (or the equivalent amount of lump charcoal) on each side for the first hour, adding eight per side each hour thereafter. If you want your father-in-law to believe that you have a magical touch, don’t let him see you counting.

* Don’t bother trying to turn a salmon fillet. Cook it skin down. When done, wriggle a spatula, the bigger the better, under the fish and you’ll find that the skin stays behind where it belongs. When the temperature is right, other varieties of fish will usually “release” from the grill when they’re ready to be turned.

* Rest red meat after removing from the fire. While the meat finishes cooking itself, it also “relaxes,” becoming more tender.

* Parboil potatoes to almost done, cut them in half or quarters, and then grill quickly as you would a vegetable.

* If you are using wood chips to add smoke flavor, soak them in water and then wrap them in aluminum foil. Use a fork to open several quarter-size holes in the foil. Throw the foil packet on the coals just before grilling. This gives you a steady flow of smoke rather than a short blast.

* Add soaked rosemary branches to the coals when cooking meat. It will perfume your patio and flavor the food.

* If friends tell you that their gas grill is much more convenient and faster than your charcoal kettle, smile and be polite. These people have invested good money in their belief. If you must quarrel, ask whether they oil their food or their grate.

BBQ Chicken Under a Brick

With grilling season starting we are ready to get our chicken out doors and back on the grill. Grilling chicken under a brick or 'pollo al matone' is a Tuscan method of grilling chicken by placing a foil covered brick on top of the chicken during the grilling process. The process presses the chicken flat to the grill to create a more even cooking surface on the chicken. This helps evenly distribute the heat and allows the chicken to cook more evenly.

Handle the brick carefully during the cooking process, as it will be very hot. Use a heavy duty grilling clove to lift and move the brick, tongs may not be strong enough to hold the hot brick.

Our Smoky Molasses Rub has a noticeable yet somewhat mysterious sweetness followed by a smooth earthiness from the garlic and onion. Then you'll pick up a bit of heat that hits the back of your throat with some lingering citrus notes. Hand blended from granulated molasses, demerara sugar, orange, smoked Hickory salt, garlic, onion, chipotle, paprika and red bell pepper.

Grilled chicken: How to get it perfect

Grilled Lemon Chicken Breasts have a timeless flavor. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

In barbecue circles, chicken might as well be a vegetable. Oh, people like it just fine, but it’s not taken seriously. Not like beef brisket, pulled pork, whole hog or ribs. Chicken is the meat world’s tofu: a blank canvas for flavors, without much of its own.

I grill chicken every two or three weeks, sometimes whole, sometimes in parts. I’m crazy about its mild taste and ability to play well with other flavors. Like a genial friend, chicken should be prized, not derided, for its adaptability.

The problem is that for most people, putting chicken over the fire turns dinnertime into a display of confounding results. The white meat may be perfectly moist, but the dark meat is as underdone as a novel’s first draft. And don’t get me started on the skin, which too often comes out rubbery or burned or every which way but enjoyable.

The key to appreciating grilled chicken as much as I do is in understanding how to treat it. If the heat is too high, the skin will burn before the meat can cook. If too low, the skin ends up flabby. The challenge — which is really no different from that of chicken roasted in the oven — is to not dry out the white meat while waiting for the dark meat to cook through, or, conversely, to not undercook the dark meat when the white meat is done.

The best way to avoid the problem is to butterfly, or spatchcock, the bird (something that works well for Thanksgiving turkey, too). By more or less flattening it, you get the chicken to cook more evenly. You also assure crisped skin.

In his book “Where There’s Smoke” (Sterling Epicure, 2013), chef Barton Seaver says size matters. “Smaller birds are easier to manage on the grill in terms of ensuring doneness,” he writes. A typical fryer weighs about three pounds, which is easy to cook uniformly. But I like a roaster that weighs right around four pounds. It is hefty enough to provide a lot of meat in each part, but small enough to yield uniform results. Anything above five pounds is dicey.

I grill chicken directly over medium heat for a few minutes on an indirect fire to crisp the skin, then move it to the cool side of the grate to gently cook the meat through and let it take on the flavors of the coals. When it’s almost done, I use long-handled tongs to transport the chicken to the hot side for a few more minutes. That finishes crisping the skin and gives it a nice char.

I’ve cooked chicken that way so many times that I can tell when it’s done simply by looking at it. Its glistening skin is blackened and bronzed, and the meat’s juices run clear. When I pick it up with the tongs, the bird surrenders a little, sagging on both sides. I don’t generally use an instant-read thermometer, but until you get it down, I strongly recommend that you do it should read 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh.

Sometimes, to be even more certain that the chicken will come out evenly cooked, I set two foiled-wrapped bricks on its splayed body. The method is typically called, plainly, chicken-under-a-brick. (In Italian, which always sounds better, it’s pollo al mattone, a classic Tuscan recipe.) The bricks flatten the bird, resulting in magnificently brittle skin and succulent meat. Plus, it’s cool to tell your guests, “Tonight we’re having chicken under brick.” Sounds rustic and sophisticated at the same time.

Chicken Grilled Under a Brick. The bird is first spatchcocked, or butterflied, to ensure even cooking. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)
Classic Barbecue Chicken: The secret is to brush on the sauce only in the final few minutes on the grill. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

The most foolproof way to grill chicken, of course, is in individual pieces. That way, the breast and thigh get the special attention they deserve. The flavor of skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves, marinated in lemon and olive oil, is somehow timeless. I often stand at the grill and anxiously anticipate eating the white meat as its blackening skin puffs ever so slightly and rivulets of juice run down its sides.

The most traditional method of grilling chicken is the one that, for the longest time, I used the least: the sauce-slathered style known commonly as barbecue chicken. The more I cooked chicken, the more I appreciated its flavor and wanted only to add some herbs or bathe it in citrus. But over the summer, I placed chicken legs, thighs and breasts over the fire and brushed them with a tangy barbecue sauce. With parts, you can cook to order: Take the white meat off sooner than the dark to assure perfect doneness.

When I took my first bite of them, I was immediately transported back to countless childhood cookouts. There was something so simple and beautifully sloppy about the treatment. It was fun, and I had forgotten how much I loved it. I’ve been adding barbecue chicken to my routine ever since.

The key is to wait until the final few minutes to brush on the sauce. Otherwise, it burns.

It is that kind of detail that matters. It reminds you that a yard bird, when cooked properly, takes on the beguiling aromas of fire and smoke like few other foods — including vegetables.

The secret to the best grilled chicken is. a brick? Here's how you do it

Want a foolproof grilling recipe that will blow your friends away this Fourth of July, even if you’re a novice at the grill? All you need are a few bricks (yes, bricks!) and some basic ingredients to make the juiciest, most crisp-skinned grilled chicken you've ever tasted.

“I love grilling chicken under a brick,” says Glenn Harris, chef and co-owner of the New York City restaurants Jane and The Smith, where he's serving brick-pressed chicken on his summer menu. The method “cooks the meat perfectly evenly," he explains. "You won't get some spots that are overcooked.” Plus, the technique gets all of the skin extra-crispy. Harris adds a mix of bell peppers and onions for gorgeous color and sweet caramelized flavor. Ready to try the recipe yourself this Fourth of July weekend? Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Set the grill to medium and gather your ingredients.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, zest removed in strips with a peeler
  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), spatchcocked (see instructions, below)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Puree onion, garlic, herbs, oil, and zest in a food processor. Rub some puree under skin of chicken breast. Rub remaining puree over rest of bird. Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Wipe off most of rub season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high, or set up for indirect heat. Grill chicken, breast side down, covered with vent open, until nicely charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip cook 30 minutes more. Flip again grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in thickest part of breast, 5 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes.

Grilled Lemon and Rosemary Flattened Chicken

Someone needs to tell California that fall is just around the corner because it is HOT. All caps HOT. Over 100 degrees HOT.

On these hottest of September weekends, we filmed a wedding in Sacramento on Saturday. You guys, it was 101 degrees. All outdoors. I easily drank 1 gallon of water, and sweat about that same amount. We were quite the sight. Shawn made the unfortunate decision of wearing a gray t-shirt that day. He has the difficult job of setting up all of the audio before the ceremony starts, which means he’s running around with wires and microphones, getting the officiant and groom miked up. He walked over to me when he was done, and his shirt was soaked with some very unfortunate sweat marks.

It shouldn’t be this warm! I’m supposed to be bundled up on the couch with soup cooking on the stove. Instead, I’m splayed out on the couch with multiple fans turned on me, eating ice.

I don’t dare cook anything in the kitchen since it instantly makes the house feel like a sauna. So we’re doing lots of grilling outdoors. One of the few perks of this warm weather is delicious grilled dinners.

My current favorite grilling dinners is this grilled lemon and rosemary flattened chicken. To speed up the cooking process, you cut out the back bone and flatten the chicken. The whole bird is ready in less than 45 minutes. You smother the chicken in a lemon zest, rosemary and garlic olive oil rub. You cook the chicken skin side down, and weight it down with an aluminum foil brick. This also helps the chicken cook faster, and helps you get extra crispy skin with beautiful grill marks.

The *best* part of this recipe is the grilled lemons. You cut the lemons in half, and grill them during the last few minutes of cooking the chicken. The heat cooks out all the sourness of the lemon, and reduces the juices and pulp inside. It turns the lemon into an amazing, concentrated lemon sauce. When you squeeze out the lemons, the pulp comes out as paste. It is SO good! I can’t get enough of it.


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