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Chicken Under a Brick

Prepare oven according to Mugnaini’s Medium Roasting Environment, 550-625˚F


1 chicken, about 4 pounds, left whole, bones removed except for wings and knuckle ends of drumsticks (see note)
1 teaspoon Aromatic Salt, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon

Aromatic Salt

2 cups fine sea salt
1 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (mixture of rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley)
1 lemon for zesting


2 heavy bricks wrapped with foil


This chicken is the single most favorite chicken recipe in our cooking classes. Ask your butcher to debone a chicken per the recipe, or follow the instructions included here. Deboning ensures the breast meat and leg meat will cook evenly and simultaneously. It also allows for beautiful slices and easy carving at the table.

Cut chicken through the center of the breast so chicken is in two halves. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon Aromatic Salt on the back of each half. Turn chicken over and, with your fingers, gently loosen the skin on each breast. Place 1/4 teaspoon salt under the skin of each half. Rub 1 tablespoon oil over the skin of each half.

Place sheet pan in oven for at least 5 minutes to heat well. Slide pan towards oven opening and carefully place chicken skin side down on pan. Immediately place bricks on top of chicken, covering as much of the chicken as possible. Place pan back in the oven and cook for 12 minutes or until the skin side is nicely browned. Remove sheet pan from oven and lift off bricks. Return to oven and cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes more or until the thigh temperatures read 165 ̊ F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Squeeze lemon over chicken before serving.

Aromatic Salt
Put the salt and herb mixture onto a sheet pan and toss together. Hold the lemon over salt mixture and zest. Toss again to combine well. Aromatic Salt an be used immediately or left out at room temperature to dry for 48 hours, then left in the refrigerator for future use.

NOTE: To bone a chicken, stand chicken upright with neck end at top and back facing you. Grip firmly with one hand and, using a sharp boning knife, cut down through both sides of the spine and remove it. Set chicken, breast side down, on a work surface and cut flesh along both side of the rib cage, staying as close to the bone as possible, being careful at all times not to puncture the skin. Cut through the joint where the rib cage is attached to the wing and remove the saber bone. Cut through the joint where the thigh connects to the spine. Gently pull entire rib cage free from the chicken. Lay the chicken open, skin side down, on a work surface. Feel for the thigh bone and slice into the meat to expose the bone. Scrape meat from thigh bone, working your way over the knee, and scrape meat two-thirds of the way down the drumstick. Using the back of your knife, crack the bone at this point and remove, leaving only the knuckle end of the drumstick. Repeat on opposite side.

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