Emeril's Northern Italian–Style Chicken Under a Brick

Savory, Flavorful Chicken

The chef prepares his "Chicken-Under-a-Brick" and his bacon potato salad.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Tired of making chicken the same way all the time? Fire up the grill and give Emeril's chicken under a brick a try.


  • Substitute for Emeril's Original Essence
  • 2 ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Northern Italian–Style Chicken Under a Brick
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • One 3- to 31/2-pound chicken
  • 2 bricks, completely wrapped in aluminum foil
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Cooking Directions

    For the substitute for Emeril's Original Essence:

    In a small bowl combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.

    For the chicken:

    In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, parsley, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper. Mix to combine, and set the marinade aside.

    Place the chicken on a cutting board. With a boning knife and/or poultry scissors, cut along both sides

    of the backbone and remove it. Place the chicken skin side down, and using a paring or small boning knife, cut underneath and around the breastbone on both sides, cutting the cartilage away from the flesh so that you can work your fingers underneath the bone, and then carefully remove the breastbone. The chicken should now lie flat like an open book. Tuck the wing tips behind the wing joint that meets the breast. Cut small slits in the skin that hangs beneath the thighs, and tuck the tips of the drumstick bones inside. Place the chicken in a 13 X 9-inch nonreactive baking dish, and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours, turning the chicken occasionally in the marinade.

    Preheat the oven to 500°F, and preheat a grill to medium-low.

    Heat the bricks in the oven for 20 minutes. (Alternatively, heat the bricks on the grill for 30 minutes.)

    Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade), and season it on both sides with the

    Original Essence, salt, and white pepper.

    Place the chicken, skin side down, on the grill, and set the bricks on top of the chicken to cover it

    completely and flatten it. Cook until the skin has nice grill marks, about 15 minutes. Then turn the chicken 45 degrees and cook until a second set of grill marks forms, creating a crosshatch pattern, about 15 minutes longer.

    Using pot holders or thick kitchen towels, remove the bricks and set them aside. Carefully turn the

    chicken over so that it is now skin side up. Cook until the juices run clear and an instant-read

    thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the thigh registers 165°F, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the grill, place it on a cutting board, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then cut the chicken into quarters and serve immediately.

    Note: The cooking time may vary slightly, depending on your grill.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for "Good Morning America."

    Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril at the Grill, HarperStudio Publisher, New York, 2009, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: bricks, chicken, emeril's original essence

    Course: Dinner

    More Info: Kid Friendly

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