DIY Barbecue Guide: a goof-proof brick chicken recipe

DIY Barbecue Guide: a goof-proof brick chicken recipe

Goof-Proof Chicken
(Image: Christopher Stevenson) 

Barbecuing a whole chicken has never been for the faint of heart: different parts of the bird cook at different speeds, and melting fat burns like napalm. This recipe for spatchcocked brick chicken solves those problems easily. The whole chicken cooks evenly because it lies flat, and indirect heat prevents flare-ups. It’s also hugely impressive to serve.


Ingredients
1 whole roasting chicken, 3 to 5 lbs. Ask your butcher to remove the backbone, or do it yourself, cutting along both sides of the spine with poultry shears.
⅔ cup coarsely chopped rosemary, tarragon and thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large, clean brick or flat, heavy stone, wrapped in foil

Directions
1. If you’re using charcoal, pile your coals to one side of the grill and light them. If you’ve got a gas barbecue, turn all burners to high.
2. Mix herbs with minced garlic, oil and pepper to make paste.
3. Flatten the chicken, skin side up, on a cutting board with the palm of your hand (sort of like you’re administering CPR). Trim excess skin and discard. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the bird with kosher salt and pepper (it should look like it’s spent the day in the sand). Spread herb paste all over the bird.
4. The key is indirect heat. If using coal, lay the chicken skin side down opposite the coals. If using gas, turn one burner off and set the chicken over the unlit burner; turn all others to medium. (If your barbecue has just one burner, turn it to low and add 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time per side.) Put the brick on top of the chicken to flatten it. Close the lid.
5. After 20 to 25 minutes, remove the hot brick (wear oven mitts). Flip the chicken over and spin it so the side that was farthest from the heat source is now closest. Replace the brick, close the lid. Cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Carve and serve.