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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Friday, February 04, 2005

Chicken Under a Brick

I had this recipe marked to try, but that was before I decided that the Zuni method is ideal. I decided I should go ahead and make it, just so that I could rule it out objectively.

First thing I noted: it seems a little ridiculous to marinate a chicken in a cup of extra virgin olive oil. But afterall, it is a vehicle for the rosemary, thyme and 6 cloves of smashed garlic. And I do try to follow a recipe the first time I make it. So, a cup it is.

Then there's the hassle factor of partially deboning the raw chicken. I say hassle factor, but the truth is that I'm finding butchering kind of fun. (Amy, put down the knife!) I could definitely use a cleaver, as Cheryl mentioned. However, in the meantime, my poultry shears and chef's knife work just fine. Cut off the wing tips, cut out the backbone, remove the keel bone and ribs, and suddenly you have 2 halves of a chicken that lay flat.

After marinating, the chicken hits a hot cast iron skillet and immediately gets a foil-wrapped brick on top of it, so that the skin stays in contact with the pan. Ha. I happen to already have a foil wrapped brick, because I use it instead of a fancy-schmancy pannini maker. Yikes! It pops and spatters ruthlessly! My cooktop is a mess.

The chicken finishes in the oven. Perfect time to make some truly decadent mashed potatoes. If I'm honest, and I am, I'd have to say I'd like the potatoes just as much without the goat cheese. Milk, butter and sage would have been sufficient.

But what about the chicken? Alas, I can not rule out this method. This is by far the crispiest, tastiest skin ever. And I don't even eat chicken skin!! Ok, scratch that. I never used to eat chicken skin. Now I see what all the fuss is about. What a horrible, horrible habit to develop at this point in life!!!

Gary is still in there raving about it. In fact, when I told him that it was a shame that leftover chicken won't have that crisp skin, he went straight into the kitchen, peeled the skin off the other half of the chicken, and ate it. Don't tell him that I told on him.


At 2/04/2005 9:29 PM, Blogger Sheri said...

Oh, that chicken looks perfect! It sounds like a good cross between regular butterflied and the Zuni method. I need to try it now.

What are your thoughts on the 1 c. of olive oil? Will you use less next time?

At 2/04/2005 10:09 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Maybe a little. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 cup? Definitely not your best drizzling/finishing oil. I used my Spitiko or the Whole Foods 360 brand would be fine.


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