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Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on May 24, 2008.
“Pollo al Mattone” (i.e. under-the-brick) is a traditional Italian cooking method in which bricks weigh down a butterflied chicken, thereby ensuring even and quick cooking, which yields a crispy skin and succulent meat.
If you don’t have bricks, a pot with 4 litres (16 cups) of water will do the trick. Ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken. In case you want to try it out yourself, first remove the backbone by cutting along each side of it with a pair of special poultry shears or any other regular but strong kitchen shears.
Then split the chicken down the centre by pressing on the cartilage in order to flatten it as much as possible. There you have it!
Try our recipe for Chicken under a Brick