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Chicken Under a Brick with Scallion Salsa Verde

© 2021 |

© 2021 |

Chicken under a brick--this is an effective and easy method for getting chicken skin perfectly browned, cracklingly crisp and its interior juicy and tender, thanks to the combination of the high heat and the downward pressure on the cooking meat from the weights above it. The original recipe is thought to be Italian and use a whole chicken that has been spatchcocked.
Back in ancient times, Roman soldiers had to cook for themselves. They invented a way to roast chicken under a clay dome called clibanus or testum. In order to roast small game or fowl, a heavy, glazed terracotta tile was designed to apply significant weight on the meat cooking under the clay dome (stove top or oven in modern time). You can use a clean brick or two, wrapped in foil if necessary, or a heavy cast-iron skillet as the weight. No brick? no cast-iron skillet? No problem. Fill a kettle with water and use that as the weight. And a 5kg dumbbel would work great too.

  • 4 Chicken thighs skin-on, bone-in
  • Pink salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Anchovy fillet, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Brined capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely minced
  • 4 tbsp Parsley, finely chop
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 Scallions or spring onions, thinly sliced
  1. Prepare a large piece of foil and a heavy skillet aside for weighing down chicken. Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt ghee in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Arrange chicken thighs in pan skin side down, making sure they don’t overlap. Place foil over chicken, then set skillet on top. Cook chicken until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and flesh is almost completely cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Check halfway through to make sure skin isn’t taking on color too quickly and reducing heat to medium if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, combine anchovy, capers, garlic, parsley, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix in vinegar, mustard, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, then scallions. Taste and season salsa verde with more salt if needed.
  4. Remove top skillet and check chicken. Using a spatula, release chicken skin from pan and turn thighs over. Turn the heat off and let chicken sit to finish cooking through, about 1 minute.
  5. Spoon some scallion salsa verde onto a platter. Top with chicken with skin side up, and spoon more pesto over. Serve immediately.

© 2021 |

© 2021 |


Pedro 8/9/21 11:15

It looks crispy and full of flavor. Perhaps may be possible to cook it like this on an electric grill with double folding plates, and placing a little more weight on the top plate.

Angie's Recipes 8/9/21 11:16

@Pedro That sounds like a great idea too, Pedro.

Królowa Karo 8/9/21 11:36

What an appetizing way to make chicken ...

babYpose 8/9/21 11:58

Juicy inside, crispy outside, perfect. The aroma of ghee couldnt resists. The brick or mortar/pestle will do i guess.

Raymund 8/9/21 11:59

Ohhh this is an interesting method to cook chicken! will give that a shot

The Velvet Runway 8/9/21 13:17

That looks delicious! I love how crispy the chicken looks
Julia x

DEZMOND 8/9/21 13:36

I eat scallions every day in my morning tomato salad!

Tom 8/9/21 16:14

...another delicious way to enjoy chicken.

foodtravelandwine 8/9/21 16:27

I love cast-iron skillet....your chicken looks so tempting!!....golden crust and full of flavours!!........Abrazotes, Marcela

Christine 8/9/21 16:57

Interesting and delicious!

Brian 8/9/21 17:53

That looks so good, but your recipes usually do, yum!

Martyna 8/9/21 20:42

I like chicken. This looks very delicious 😊

Bill 8/9/21 21:18

I love chicken especially when its crispy and juicy. Delicious!!

Ben | Havocinthekitchen 8/9/21 21:53

Oh this chicken looks perfectly cooked and so appetizing - loving its browned skin! Also, this sauce sounds like a lovely addition to the dish.

tigerfish 9/9/21 00:06

The crispy skin would be worth the weight (and wait) :p

J.P. Alexander 9/9/21 03:18

Se ve muy rico te mando un beso

Graciela Bacino 9/9/21 05:36

Thanks so much!!

delphine 9/9/21 07:23

C'est très appétissant merci pour la recette

Nancy Chan 9/9/21 09:37

The chicken sure looks delicious with the crispy skin and juicy meat. With the sauce, it makes me drool.

Javier 9/9/21 09:45

I think that it's an interesting method for getting chicken skin perfectly browned. Really the chicken looks great!

lea 9/9/21 10:28

Buonissimo, profumato e croccante! Una ricetta interessante! Buona giornata!

Bernadette 9/9/21 14:01

The chicken looks delicious and the salsa fabulous. Thanks for the historical backstory.

speedy70 9/9/21 14:48

Un piatto assolutamente da rifare!!!!

Federica Simoni 9/9/21 15:20

Deve essere delizioso😋😋😋😋

Kitchen Riffs 9/9/21 15:37

This is such a fun dish! I've made versions of this a couple of times, but it's been years and years. Yours looks delish -- wanna make it again, using your recipe this time. Thanks!

The-FoodTrotter 9/9/21 16:04

Both your chicken brick and scallion salsa look so delicious :)

Fran @ G;day Souffle 9/9/21 16:33

Brilliant idea cooking under a brick (or dumb bells). I can just imagine my husband coming into the kitchen and seeing dumb bells placed on top of the chicken!

Kelly | Foodtasia 9/9/21 16:52

I'll have to try this, Angie! That skin is amazing!

Julie 9/9/21 18:10

what a tempting chicken dear.. looks absolutely irresistible :)

Pam 9/9/21 18:15

Delicious! I've never tried this cooking method before.

Amy (Savory Moments) 9/9/21 20:51

Oh, yum! Yes, please! This chicken looks so good and flavorful.

Balvinder 9/9/21 22:15

I am loving this under a brick method for cooking chicken thighs.Must try.
Angie, Does the top skillet touch the foil and put pressure on the meat or is it just covering like a lid?

[Reply] 10/9/21 15:17

Such a great classic recipe update with your inventive salsa! Sounds wonderful!

bread&salt 11/9/21 23:06

Beautiful method! I am sure that it must be fingerlickingly delicious. We use brick method alot.

Marcelle 11/9/21 23:37

This looks like a delicious main dish, Angie! That crispy chicken looks amazing!!

mjskit 15/9/21 21:44

What an interesting and fun way to cook chicken. It obviously works quite well because that chicken skin looks perfect! I love a nice, non-fatty crispy chicken skin!

Noob Cook 22/9/21 10:53

The brown crust on the skin is really perfection! I had seen a cooking show using this technique and I loved the creativity & practicality.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida 25/9/21 02:54

I actually have a brick that I could cover in foil and use. This looks so good, and I do love chicken thighs. I have all of the ingredients, so I’m going to give it a try. This is an interesting post. I particularly enjoyed the historical information.


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