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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking


A CookTale

For those who have yet to prepare a whole Chicken in this style, here is a great new method to add to your repertoire. Cathie and I were fortunate to discover this in a small mountainside restaurant in the hills of Chianti, Tuscany. The menu was a chalkboard in Italian, the chef, clad in his undershirt, sweating over a roaring fire, was grilling a number of Chickens flattened under bricks. Here we have to rely on our gas or charcoal grills to try to replicate this old world technique. A friend who knew Italy very well once told me “In Italy avoid countryside restaurants if upon entering, you don’t get the whiff of a cook sweating against a roaring fire”. Not a wonderful image to take home, but here’s the wonderful result!


1 (3- to 4-lb) Chicken, halved but still intact so that it lies flat
1/4 C of EVOO
6 TB of chopped fresh Herbs (such as Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Marjoram)
5 to 6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Rub the Chicken all over with Oil, Herbs, Garlic, Salt & Pepper. Transfer to a wide, shallow dish, cover, & refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.

2. Drain excess marinade from the Chicken & arrange, skin side down, on a grill over a medium low fire (you should be able to hold your hand over the flame for 5—6 seconds). Immediately place two heavy bricks wrapped in foil or a weighted cast iron pan over the chicken. Close the lid of the grill and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.

3. When the skin is crispy & golden, flip Chicken & cook on the other side for another 12 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife or a meat thermometer registers 135°F. in the thighs.
Remove, it will continue to cook while it rests.

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