Monday, September 13, 2010

Brined Chicken under a Brick

Many times, I’ve read recipes that talk about weighing down a piece of chicken with a brick wrapped in aluminum foil. I always kind of wanted to try it, but – you may not know this about me – I’m not the kind of woman who has bricks lying around the house. So to try this cooking method, I would actually have to go out and buy two bricks.

It never seemed worth the effort before, but now that I have a cooking blog, I have to step outside of my comfort zone for your entertainment. And believe me, brick yards are wayyyyyyy outside of my comfort zone.

But for you, I’d do anything.


I didn’t go to a brick yard. I don’t even know where there is a brick yard. I thought, surely Lowe’s would carry bricks. So I put the chicken in brine and went to Lowe’s. It took me a while to find the brick aisle. I got distracted by all the beautiful shower curtains and bathroom accessories. I love being a girl.

Here’s how you do it:

Brined Chicken under Bricks

For the brine:
10 C lukewarm water
½ C Kosher salt
¼ C white sugar

For the chicken:
2 chicken halves with bones and skin
1 t black pepper
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
¼ t cayenne pepper (spicy) or paprika (mild)
¼ C olive oil

Put the sugar and salt in a bowl that’s large enough to hold the chicken and the water. Add the water, stirring constantly until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Then add the ice to cool the water. Rinse the chicken and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is fine.

Cover two bricks with a double layer of aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Drain the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine the spices and rub over the skin. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium high heat, just until the oil gets glossy but not so long that the oil smokes.

Put the chicken in the pan skin-side down, then weigh it down with the bricks to hold the skin flat against the pan. Cook on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Without removing the bricks, transfer the whole pan to the hot oven. Bake until the juices run clear, about 18 minutes. Remove immediately from the pan, trying not to break the skin, and allow to rest on a plate for about 5 minutes before eating.

This is some seriously delicious chicken!

But now what am I supposed to do with the bricks?

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