This chicken is insanely crazy good. A certified winner, a champion, a masterpiece. First of all, I took the recipe from The New Brooklyn Cookbook (featuring some of my awesome and talented friends, what what!) I picked up a copy the last time I was in NY and sometimes when I’m feeling homesick I lovingly flip through the pages imagining myself eating at this place or that. Cozying up in one of the booths at Lunetta to devore their ricotta bruschetta, waiting for ages for a spot at Vinegar Hill House sipping on something warm and alcoholic, or finding myself at Marlow & Sons for a glass of Prosecco and a plate of oysters. These are some of my ‘ny moments’. In my mind they exist as euphoric little snapshots, because it is easy to forget that my life in NY was not always such a dreamy vignette. When one is actually living in NY these charming and beautiful moments are often squashed in-between a hectic work schedule, an annoying subway commute, and a slew of other super important and time sensitive matters. But see, what’s super cool about leaving a place is you get to push all the awful away, and simply fantasize about what you miss most, and I miss many of the places featured in this Brooklyn cookbook.
When I decided to make this Marlow & Sons version of brick chicken it was not because I was feeling particularly homesick that day. But as soon as I saw their recipe I salivated and I think even a small thread of drool made its way down my lip. It was final – I was going to make this chicken asap.
I’m so freaking glad that I did. Not only is this chicken incredibly easy and idiot proof, it’s also mouthwateringly delicious. It is well balanced, comforting, crispy, moist, awesome chicken. When you place the bricks (or whichever weight you end up using) on top of the chicken you hear this incredible sizzling of heat and fat, searing the skin and giving you an audial glimpse at your epicurean future. That sound resonates so beautifully you can almost taste it. The pan sauce is just acidic and salty enough to drink with spoon. I did, I suggest you do too.
The blurb before the recipe mentions that this dish has been a part of their repertoire since they first opened, and the only one they haven’t ever taken off. If that isn’t a good testament to its quality I’m not sure what it.
*Courtesy of Marlow & Sons
1 whole chicken (4 pounds should be enough for 4 people with sides)
* ask your butcher to remove the backbone, rib cage and thigh bones. I did the bird in one piece, you can also do it in halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
juice of a lemon
handful of parsley
salt and black pepper
Heat a big heavy skillet (cast iron if you got it) with olive oil and vegetable oil over high heat. Pat your chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper generously.
When the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken skin side down. Place another pan on top and bricks to weigh down the whole thing. We used bricks from the garden and instead of rinsing them from dirt I covered them with a kitchen towel. You can also use soup cans if you don’t have access to bricks.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook the chicken uninterrupted for around 18 minutes or until skin is nicely browned and crisp. I peaked once at 15 and it was golden, those extra few minutes really helped get it to the right place of crispness.
Carefully remove the top pan and the weights, drain off a bit of the excess liquid. ( I poured off about half of what was in the skillet). Flip the bird and add the chicken stock and lemon juice, cook for a few more minutes, 3 or 4 should do the trick. If you are worried, check to make sure the thickest part of the thigh is nicely cooked and the rest should be good and ready. Toss in parsley and serve in the yummy pan juices. Eat with a hunk of bread and butter to sop up the juices like we did.