food

The secret to the best grilled chicken is...a brick? Here's how you do it

July 2, 2014 at 3:48 PM ET

Want a foolproof grilling recipe that will blow your friends away this Fourth of July, even if you’re a novice at the grill? All you need are a few bricks (yes, bricks!) and some basic ingredients to make the juiciest, most crisp-skinned grilled chicken you've ever tasted.

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

“I love grilling chicken under a brick,” says Glenn Harris, chef and co-owner of the New York City restaurants Jane and The Smith, where he's serving brick-pressed chicken on his summer menu. The method “cooks the meat perfectly evenly," he explains. "You won't get some spots that are overcooked.” Plus, the technique gets all of the skin extra-crispy. Harris adds a mix of bell peppers and onions for gorgeous color and sweet caramelized flavor. Ready to try the recipe yourself this Fourth of July weekend? Here's how to do it:


Step 1: Set the grill to medium and gather your ingredients.

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

For four servings, you’ll need:

  • 2 each red, yellow and green bell peppers
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 2 whole or split 3 lb. chickens (you can ask your butcher or supermarket meat counter to butterfly the chickens for you)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 2 oz sherry wine




Step 2: You’ll also need 4 bricks, wrapped in tin foil.

GIF: Foil wrapped brick
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


Step 3: Slice your peppers and onions and set them aside. 

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 4: Prepare the chickens.  If your butcher butterflied the chickens for you, skip this step. Otherwise, do this: Place the chicken, breast side down, on a flat surface. Carefully using a boning knife or poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone and then remove it. Flip the chicken over and press firmly on the center of the breast to break the breastbone and pull out the keel bone. Cut off any excess fat on the chicken.

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 5: Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and coat all sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil plus the oregano, fennel seeds, 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, and some salt and pepper.

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
GIF: Seasoning the chicken
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 6: Place the chicken halves skin side down on the grill and top each with a foil-wrapped brick to flatten the bird. Let the chicken cook under the brick, without moving it, for approximately 15 minutes or until skin is golden and crispy (chicken should be almost fully cooked on the skin side). 

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 7: Flip the chicken and let cook without the brick for another 10 minutes. 

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 8: Meanwhile, put the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, onions and peppers in a cast-iron skillet on the grill. Add salt and pepper to the pan to season, and let cook until soft and fragrant. Sprinkle the sherry and the remaining chopped parsley over the peppers and onions.

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Step 9: Plate the peppers and onions and top with the grilled chicken halves, and serve! 

TODAY Show: Chef Glenn Harris demonstrates how to cook up a delicious brick-pressed grilled chicken with peppers and onions on June 25, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


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