Chicken under a brick is a favorite of mine. .. . basically the chicken is butterflyed and cooked with a brick on top in a skillet resulting in perfect crisped skin and moist and tender on the inside (who doesn't like that?)
This recipe, adapted from Cooks Illustrated,was fairly easy . . .and uses a dutch oven placed on top of the chicken as the weight instead of a brick, which worked out great for us since we didn't have a brick laying around. . .
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves
1 medium clove garlic, minced
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 whole chicken (3 pounds), butterflied (ask the butcher to butterfly it for you)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mix the sage, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
Loosen the skin on each leg and thigh. (Get in there) Rub the herb mixture under the skin. Then loosen the skin covering the breast and rub the remaining herb mixture under the skin. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan (we used a cast iron skillet which worked out really well). Cover bottom of a Dutch oven or stock pot, with foil and fill with 5 quarts water.
Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken skin side down in sauté pan. Set the Dutch oven on top to hold the chicken flat.
Cook over a medium-high heat until skin is nicely browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove Dutch oven; turn chicken skin side up. Replace Dutch oven and continue cooking until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast reads 165, app. 15-20 more minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest and tent with foil.
Serve with whatever greens and starch you want. . .you really can't go wrong. Enjoy!
It is cold out which means an excuse to eat large bowls of beef stew . . .i normally get my fix at Sophie's with a huge plate of ropa vieja at lunch (although this is not good for any productivity as it is definite to cause a food coma) . . . my last trip to Sophie's inspired me to give the dish a try at home. . .
i chose this recipe because it seemed do-able and although a project, less steps than some others. . .it came out really tasty and my husband and i, along with my sister in law and brother in law, finished off every last bit. . .
*we found it difficult to shred the meat with a fork and resorted to our hands- we probably could have left the meat cooking in for a little while longer which would have made it even more tender (we cooked it for around an hour and a half -i would do two hours next time)
*it was a bit bland so i added some salsa verde just before serving which gave it a needed kick.
*as you can see, we served ours with yellow rice and crusty bread.
also, on the cuban front, we are very exciting about the arrival of cubana cafe to park slope- cute place with good food that has been in soho for a long time. . . the chicken with mango salsa is delicious (i think it is #18 on their menu).
Send me some of your favorite stew recipes. . .the winter has just begun.