The Soaring Pig: Bricking a chicken

See the video above for recipe and instructions. Please be careful with your hot skillet.

by Stephen Dafoe

I’m not sure who came up with the idea of wrapping two bricks in tinfoil and using it as a cooking tool, but the idea is a good one.

If you have a cast iron skillet and a couple of bricks, I highly recommend making chicken under a brick for supper this weekend. It gives you a juicy bird with crisp skin, plus lots of flavour.


1 whole chicken

Step 1: Spatchcocking the bird

You want to spatchcock the chicken for this recipe. The term spatchcock is believed to be an abbreviation for “dispatch the cock,” which means to split it open for cooking. Some people call it butterflying.

Spatchcocking your chicken reduces your cooking time and makes the bird juicier.

Place the chicken breast side down with the legs facing you. Cut from the pygostyle (parson’s nose) up through the backbone on both sides with some kitchen scissors.

Once the bird is opened, you can push and crack or cut into breastbone so bird lays flat.

I also cut off the wings at this time.

Step 2: Seasoning the bird

Season all over with salt and pepper.

Season the underside that you cut open with sage. You can also do a mixture of salt, sage, thyme and marjoram. Really – whatever works to your tastes.

Let the bird sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3: oil and season

The salt will draw some moisture out of the bird, so dry it up with some paper towel.

Lightly coat the chicken in oil and reseason the breast area with some more salt and pepper, since the drying up process will remove some of the seasonings.

Step 4: Fire it up

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Heat skillet on the stove top for about five minutes.

Place bird breast side down in the pan and toss in those chopped off wings.

Place two bricks evenly on the undercarriage of the chicken to flatten it down.

Place in oven for 25 minutes.

Step 5: Flipping the bird

Take the skillet from the oven, remove the bricks and carefully flip the bird over. Although the underside will be likely be done, it will look pink due to being insulated by the bricks.

Place back int the oven for about 10 minutes more.

Step 6: Giving it the finish

Once your time is up, turn on the broiler and give it another two minutes to crisp up the bird.

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