Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Grilled (with a brick) Herbed Chicken

I am an epic failure in many things. 
Baking in all it's forms.   Rice, puddings (not the English kind), gardening (witness the 6 petrified trees in the Morning Room), car use or care,  it's the Space Car.
So, out of necessity (read, I don't want to starve,) I grill. I figure that if it can be made in the oven, it can be grilled. Of course, there's a lot of fire in my life. But I enjoy the excitement of an unintentional flambe. 
The absolute up-side; lots of time in the Morning Room, imagining the Petrified Forrest is a grove of Lemon Trees.  Being lulled into insensibility by the smells of rosemary, chicken and lemon on the grill.
This is the go-to recipe of the summer. I envision lots of leftovers, and lots of easy Sunday nights. 

Serves: 4-6
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus an overnight nap in the fridge

1 4 Lb. chicken, cut out the backbone
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Rosemary, or Oregano, or Thyme, whatever is fresh
2 garlic cloves, smashed with a bit of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper flakes

The night before: lay the chicken out and press on the sternum to flatten it. You should hear a resounding crack, or at least feel the beast give way. 
Mix 2 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, 1 tbsp. of the herb, 2 tbsp. of oil and the garlic in a small bowl. Dump it (or rub it, if you're feeling energetic) onto both sides of the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and stash in the back of the fridge.

The Next Day: Preheat the grill to 400 degrees, salt and pepper your bird, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet on your stove, and place the bird skin-side down in the pan when the oil shimmers. 
Splatter happens. Hopefully you have one of those skillet-shaped screens.  Or a good plastic surgeon.  If not, I can recommend one.
Walk away for 7 minutes. Do not turn, stir, move, spindle or mutilate your chicken.
After 7 minutes, your chicken will be a yummy-looking brownish black, flip that bad boy onto a plate and onto the grill, skin-side down again, thank you. 
Place a foil wrapped brick cross-wise onto the bird, lower the lid, and retreat to your lap top for another 30 minutes and cyber me.
Or you could make Anna Potatoes, which is what I did.
After 30 minutes, flip the bird and grill for another 15-20 minutes, till done. Sprinkle with the parsley, the rest of the lemon juice and the pepper flakes, carve it up and serve.
Or - you could de-glaze the pan used for searing the bird with 1/4 C. of dry white wine, and plop the the bird into that, plus a hit of more herbs, cover with foil for 5 minutes, carve and serve.
I swear to you, finding 2 bricks is the hardest part.
And once you have them, you'll never go back.

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