Chicken under a Brick

14 Reviews
67% would make this recipe again

"Pollo al Mattone" (i.e. under-the-brick) is a traditional Italian cooking method: The bricks weigh down the butterflied chicken, which allows even and quick cooking and 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.

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Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 35 min Standing : 10 min
250 calories/serving


aluminum foil
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 chicken, whole, butterflied, trimmed of excess skin and fat 1.4 kg
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 lemons

Before you start

Ask your butcher to split the chicken for you or do it yourself using a knife or poultry shears to cut out the backbone, then press down the breast to flatten it as much as possible.

This chicken can be cooked in a pan or using an outdoor grill.


  1. Baste the chicken with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the bricks in aluminum foil.
  2. Heat a thick-bottom pan. When the pan is hot, add the chicken, breast side down. Cover the chicken loosely with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped bricks on the chicken (the basic idea is to flatten the chicken by applying a fair amount of weight evenly over its surface).
  3. Cook about 15 min, occasionally checking that the skin becomes golden coloured and adjusting the heat accordingly.
  4. Remove the weights and foil cover, then turn the chicken using a spatula to loosen the skin from the bottom of the pan. Place the foil cover and weights back on top of the chicken then continue to cook until a thermometer inserted into the leg reaches 75°C/165°F, about 20 min (large chickens may take an additional 5 min or so). As an alternative, the chicken may be cooked using an outdoor grill. The bird must be weighted down with the bricks, and covered.
  5. Remove the bricks and cover, then pour the lemon juice over the chicken while it is still hot. Let the chicken stand 10 min, then serve.

Nutrition Facts Table

per 1 serving (160 g)


% Daily Value




11 g

17 %

Saturated 2.7 g
+ Trans 0 g

14 %


100 mg


100 mg

4 %


2 g

1 %


0 g

0 %


1 g

Net Carbs

2 g


34 g

Vitamin A

2 %

Vitamin C

17 %


2 %


12 %


This recipe is :
Free  :
Added Sugar
Excellent source of  :
Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin B6
Good source of  :
Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Vitamin B12, Zinc
Source of  :
Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E
Low  :


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Fruits 0
Meat and Alternatives 4
Fats ½

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14 Reviews (13 with rating only) 67% would make this recipe again

My Notes

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  • I replaced oregano by rosemary and it turned out great
  • use my large pan with the copper bottom
  • leave under the grill 3 minutes instead of 1 to get a golden crust

Top Reviews

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june 09, 2015 | I would make this recipe again


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