Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get your chick under a brick.

She'll love it. . .trust me. I've made this dish for all my ladies at least once, and no doubt, it is a star. It's pretty easy, the only thing you need is time. Unfortunately I don't have too much time anymore since I began training for World's Strongest Man, but I'm sure you do. I know your this close to beating World of Warcraft, but let's face it. You're not gettin' any from the guy in Pittsburgh who you shot in level four then stole your magic potion or whatever the hell goes on in that game. Nerd. Back to the matter at hand. Chicken under a brick. Here's what you need:

3- to 4-lb. chicken
2-1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or olive oil, as needed

Don't stress about the fresh herbs, you'll be able to get them for a couple bucks at any decent grocery store. Or you can get the whole bush at Costco. Now here's how it's gonna go down:

Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat it dry. Now you're gonna have to split the chicken. Check out the pics at the bottom to give you an idea. Rinse and dry the chicken halves again. Combine the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil in a large Zip-Lock bag or mixing bowl. Add the chicken halves. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you don't have that much time, relax guy. It'll still be delicious.

Heat the oven to 450°F. Wrap two bricks in a couple of layers of foil. (If you don't have bricks, which most of us don't, use another heavy pan weighed down with cans.) Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, let the excess marinade drain off, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set a large cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add just enough vegetable oil to lightly film the pan. Put the chicken halves, skin side down, in the pan and immediately put a brick on top of each half. Turn the heat to medium and cook (without moving the chicken) until the skin is a deep golden brown (check with a spatula) and the chicken is cooked about halfway through, 20 to 25 min. Remove the bricks, turn the chicken halves over, and put the pan in the hot oven to finish roasting the chicken until a thermometer registers at least 165°F, another 20 to 25 min. Good lord, this'll be good. It'll take some guts and determination, but just look where that got Steven Segal

Cut off the first two wing joints on each wing with a chef's knife or a cleaver.

Turn the chicken breast side down on the cutting board and remove the backbone with poultry shears or a sharp chef's knife. Cut along one side of the backbone and then back down along the other. You'll cut through the rib cage at one end and the thigh joint at the other.

Remove the keel bone. Cut a short incision in the middle of the top of the keel bone (this has cartilage on the top end) and flatten the chicken. The keel bone should partially pop out. Trim the rest of it away with a paring or boning knife. Now cut the bird completely in half.

Hack off the knuckle from each drumstick with a cleaver or with the heel of a chef's knife.

Slide a sharp paring or boning knife under the ribs on both chicken halves and carefully cut them out.

The partially boned chicken can now lie flat in a pan and will cook evenly.

Thanks to for the splitting images and instructions.

Ok, man. Got it? Serve this tasty bird to your tasty bird with a nice side of mashed potatoes and some sort of vegetable if you're into that kind of thing. Maybe try blue lake green beans, but be sure to cut off the ends or risk blowing the whole evening. Nothing says, "I don't really give a rat's ass about you" like not trimming green beans does.

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