I love to roast a whole chicken. There is something so homey and comforting about it. Unfortunately I have yet to master the art. It’s undercooked, it’s overcooked, the skin isn’t crisp, the breast is dry. I have great luck roasting whole chicken legs, and I often choose to go that route. Until now. I’ve been wanting to try to make a “brick” or weighted chicken for years. I finally found a technique that I could do easily at home. This is adapted from a recipe I read on seriouseats.com. The meat is succulent throughout with a crisp, delicious skin. The best part is, the whole chicken is roasted in 40 minutes!
- 1 3-4 lb. free range chicken
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 4-5 sprigs each of fresh parsley and fresh thyme
To prepare the chicken you need a sharp knife or kitchen shears. The shears work really well, if you don’t have a pair, I love my Kitchenaid shears that came from Fred Meyer. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Lay it on a cutting board, breast side down. Locate the spine and cut along both sides of the spine all the way through the length of the bird, removing the spine completely (discard it or sock it away in the freezer to make stock with later). Turn the bird over breast side up and press down firmly to break the breastbone and flatten the bird out. Rub the chicken all over with salt- be generous. I used about three teaspoons of Kosher salt. In a large oven proof, heavy skillet or wide Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium high heat. Place the herbs on the open side of the chicken.
When the oil is hot place the whole chicken, skin side down into the pan. Use a heavy pot that will fit inside the larger pot to weigh down the chicken. Place the smaller pot right onto the chicken. To weight it down even more, place three or four cans of food inside the smaller pot.
Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 2o minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After 20 minutes, flip the chicken over in the pot. Check to be sure the skin is crispy. If not, flip it back over and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the weights and place the whole pan in the oven with the skin side up. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.