Tuscan Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

1 Jun

Now that’s a title.

I’ve been telling everyone I would post this from the day I made it, a few weeks ago in LA. I’m sure I use the words “amazing, delicious, the best” etc. here a lot. But I am not kidding (I also say I’m not kidding too often) — THIS CHICKEN IS THE ONLY WAY I WILL EVER GRILL CHICKEN BREASTS EVER, EVER AGAIN. EVER. FUCKING EVER. I don’t know how to use my words so I swear, okay? PS people who say that are stupid sensitive sallys. I know plenty of words, thank you very much. I just use them to heighten my already passionate feelings. It’s like the MSG of language.

Chicken breasts, in my mind, are whack attack. I knowwwww they’re white meat and healthier and blah blahhhhh but I always find them to be dry , of course, in comparison to my favorite– the juicy drums and thighs of our little chicken friends.

But this. This is just awesome.

I was delighted to find out there is a Home Depot just a mile from my house in LA. But wow, nothing makes you feel more like a girl (or an idiot) Β than saying, “excuse me. I need 4 bricks”. “How many??” “Just 4” “What kind of bricks” “I dunno. The bricks from cartoons and stuff that are orangey red”.

Why didn’t I send John to get the bricks? Because John was taping Duets. ABC Thursday’s. 8pm eastern, 7 central. Vote for team John. Tweet about it. Yeah that just happened what.

Anyhow, you cover them in foil, light up the ‘que (that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays), and rub salty deliciousness all over your beautiful breasts. Then do the chicken! HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAAHAHAH ABAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH DLJFLDKAGJSDLHGSFIHJSFHLKJFSH

Lay em on the grill (I had to put my little foil cup w/ wood chips directly onto the grill rather than under — no room), and please, try not to kill yourself.

The weight from the brick keeps the chicken breast both juicy and crisp. Although this technique is traditionally called “pollo al mattone”, it’s usually used with a spatchcocked whole chicken. The weight of the brick also created gorgeous grill marks while keeping the steam (and juice) from rising out of the chicken. HAHAHAHAHAHA did you think I was actually saying that!? I bet you did huh. It was in the magazine where I got this recipe. I sure got you.

But it’s true.

I paired it with a medley of things. Ribs being the most important. I do this thing where I ALWAYS have a backup for new recipes. For this night, it was bagged Tony Roma’s pre-cooked ribs that you get at the grocery store in the meat section (not frozen) and Β just throw in the oven for like, 15 minutes. I do this because I’m usually cooking for a lot of people and if something goes wrong, I need a quick backup. These ribs are PERFECT.

But oh. I will never have a backup again. This chicken is to die for. Period.

Brick chicken, after the jump. I LEARNED HOW TO DO JUMPS!

Tuscan Grilled Brick Chicken (From the June BBQ issue of Fine Cooking magazine)

  • 1 large clove garlic (or 2, because I’m awesome)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh sage
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 8-oz bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (try to get them all the same thickness!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup wood chips (preferably oak) (not MANDATORY, but def recommended)
  • vegetable oil for the grill
  • 4 bricks wrapped in foil
  • 1 medium lemon, sliced into 4 wedges for garnish

In a food processor, pulse the garlic, sage, rosemary, pepper flakes, 1 1/2 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp pepper until finely chopped.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Lightly brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season each breast with 1tsp (or a little more because FLAVOR COUNTRY) of the herbed salt. Let stand at room temp while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling over medium heat. (350 degrees F)

If using a charcoal grill, sprinkle the wood chips over the coals. If using a gas grill, use two layers of heavy-duty foil to make a V-shaped packet to hold the wood chips. Set the foil packet between the burners. Replace the grill grate.

Arrange the breasts skin side down on the grill, diagonally (for the pretty grill lines!) Put a brick on each of the chicken breasts.

Grill (covered if using a gas grill) until the skin is crisp and golden brown, 8-10 minutes (more if they’re super thick, duh) If flare-ups occur, move the chicken to a different part of the grill.

Remove bricks with mitts and flip the chicken over with tongs. Replace brick.

Continue to grill (covered if using a gas grill) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the breast reads Β 165 degrees, about another 8-10 minutes more. (ORRRRRR slice into the middle with a knife to check for doneness, like we did. Broken thermometer!)

Transfer to a platter and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges and any remaining herb salt on the side πŸ™‚

You will love. LOVE.


61 Responses to “Tuscan Grilled Chicken Under a Brick”

  1. Maggie June 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Can’t wait to try this…made your chipotle chicken for the first time last night!!!! Love it and you!!!

  2. Denise Miller (@IrieDame) June 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Will try this over the summer….never been a fan of the breasts but must give this a try.

  3. Christi June 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Sounds super good!! My hubby & I love grilling in the summer – and this sounds like a really nice addition to our regular recopies!! Mahalo Chrissy!!!

  4. Carly June 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Yes! LOVE brick chicken. I haven’t ever thought to do just breasts, though. This sounds awesome, and I also think it would be great with the marinade from this other recipe that I love (it was from Cook’s Illustrated, but since they are subscription-only I’m linking to this ‘adapted’ version on some other random blog) – http://www.mrsregueiro.com/2011/03/peruvian-roast-chicken-with-garlic-lime.html

    Also, what the hell, that recipe had mayo to go with it? How did I not even notice this?! Now I want to eat nothing but brick chicken in various forms. I have really got to get my grill set up. (…by get it set up, I mean have my boyfriend check it for spiders and scare them away.)

  5. @runjoe June 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Do you see this becoming an oven-baked disaster for those sans BBQ?

  6. hallucinatingmartyr June 2, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Fantastic, I love bbq too πŸ™‚

  7. 40GoingOn14 June 2, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    Holy crap. I can’t believe I get to say this to you, but you spelled COCK wrong (“it’s usually used with a spatch-cooked…”). Hahahaha.

    Yes. I will try this ASAP. But spell “cock” right next time. heehee (No, I’m not 12 yrs. old)

  8. charissa June 2, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    Looks yummy !! Def going to try this weekend πŸ™‚

  9. Solianny June 2, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Wow that was fun to read!!! Your entries are so entertaining. Hey, I’m obsessed with chicken. I am going to make this happen. I just need a grill and 4 bricks. Anyway, shared it on my twitter. I think that makes us officially BFF’s!!

    You are hilarious!!

  10. Sarshboogie (@Sarshboogie) June 2, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Looks yummy!! Definitely trying when it isn’t March in June in Michigan. PS-This is super cheesy, but you have made me love cooking, and it has become my new outlet. I was never big on trying new recipes, but I was always down for eating new shit. My mom died in August, and I became a person who never leaves my house. Cooking helps me get out of my funk. Now, I even leave my house sometimes!! Except right now, I am watching “A Cinderella Story” with Hillary Duff on TV (I am 30), and looking up food. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your blog, it has helped me not be crazy πŸ™‚

  11. Zizwe (@zizwe) June 2, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Ponders whether she could make this work with drummies & thighs… and in her oven. Also @sarshboogie’s comment above is so so so sweet/touching.

  12. Ashlen M June 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    We love to grill at our house so I will definitely be trying this! It looks beyond delicious!

  13. Haley June 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    This looks great- do you think it would turn out as well in the oven?

  14. @Fameeks June 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for posting this!! Brick chicken is the Shhhheeeett! More summer/backyard/grill friendly recipe-posts puhleeze!!

  15. Toy June 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Can you please post the recipe for the lasagna you posted on your twitter last month??? Please and thank you!!

  16. twheetybird June 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Looks YUMMMMMMMMM!! Will definitely give it a go! I have lotsa loose bricks πŸ™‚ the wolf blew some down πŸ™‚

    Thx Chrissy as always, witty and beautiful!!


  17. Tammy June 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I just got a spatchcocked (sounds a little porn-ish) from the farmers market this morning because they were out of whole chickens…..now I know just what to do with it! Thanks! Have been following your blog since I saw you and John on “Watch What Happens Live”….saved it to my DVR to watch whenever I want a good laugh….the two of you are such a funny, beautiful pair!

    • xoxome11 June 4, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      I’m a spatchcock convert — they cook so much faster than whole chickens — you can do one in the broiler super quick if you can’t grill outside — PLUS, you get the added bonus of being able to say such a FUN WORD!!!

  18. Holley June 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    i just laughed so hard at the magazine part, like daaaaang chrissy’s getting al fancy with it. going to the beach today and taking this recipe with me! thanks!

  19. Ines from Swiss-Land :) June 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    I had a hard time finding chipotle in Adobe in zurich but i finally found it and Made shrimps with your chipotle Marinade tonight! Freaking awsome! The brick chicken will b the next 2 try πŸ™‚

  20. james mulligan June 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    bricks bricks bricks bricks bricks bricks swoooooooophissssshhhhhhhh ahhh. thats a sweet combo chicks and bricks.

  21. nerdyconnie (@NerdyConnie) June 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    that is so creative! i love it… will have to add this to my bb

  22. Alessandra June 4, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    ahah i laughed while reading this you are hilarrrrrrr
    this looks really good, im on a stupid DIET (like wtf)
    and this seems like something yum yum to tryy

  23. Lauren June 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    You’re the funniest girl ever! Love the idea!

  24. Gethsemane Herron June 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    This sounds amazing! In my little studio, I wonder if I could pull this off with a grill pan…DEFINITELY TRYING

  25. Trey June 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    if you put the wood chip packet directly on the flare up bar (metal bar that covers burner) andd do half wet wood/half dry wood it will give a more intense smoke flavor. #themoreyouknow

  26. Jennifer June 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Currently making this for dinner. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe finds, you’ve helped me trick my boyfriend into thinking I can actually cook!

    • David Francis June 6, 2012 at 4:01 am #

      Yes 😦 24 and never had a gf..but thats not because im an asshole, its because im not very good looking 😦

    • Jennifer June 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      This was so amazing we decided to try it with steak. It was just as fantastic as the chicken!
      I took Trey’s advice and used half wet half dry wood over the coals. SO DELICIOUS!

  27. Lynn @ The Actor's Diet June 7, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    I’d love it if you’d share this with your friends and fans – I co-founded a body image blog for our community called “Thick Dumpling Skin” with Hyphen’s Lisa Lee, and we are searching for Asian models of all shapes and sizes for our “Real Bodies Manifesto.”

    We are so excited to be teaming up with our friends at Retrofit Republic for a photo/video collaboration to celebrate the different faces, bodies, and voices in the Asian American community.

    Asian Americans have historically been underrepresented in media and fashion spreads. On the rare occasion that they do appear, they are usually portrayed in one-dimensional and stereotypical ways.

    The winners will get styled, made up, photographed (and of course fed awesome food) on June 22nd.

    Full details here:


  28. missbolani June 7, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    Reblogged this on missnoitall and commented:
    Looks soooooo yummy!

  29. Linda June 7, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Shit. I was gonna say where is a broke college kid gonna get a bbq grill. But then I remembered parks have them sometimes! (& so do frat houses I guess..) & charcoal can’t be that expensive right? I think I just solved my own problem. Haha!

    • David Francis June 7, 2012 at 6:07 am #

      You can get those round little mini charcoal grills for around 20 bucks..if that, a big bag of charcoal for 9.00. Or a small bag for 5, lighter fluid isn’t necessary if you’re pinching pennies..Any flammable liquid will do ^_^

      • Linda June 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm #


  30. nikki June 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Hey Chrissy! Email me at nikki@curlynikki.com !
    I’ve got a question (and a proposition) for ya πŸ™‚

  31. goheels83 June 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Hey Chrissy,

    I just discovered your blog – and holy shit – I love it. You are hilarious and real – and so far I have made it back to August of last year. Let’s hope my boss isn’t tracking my internet usage today. #oopsishouldbeworking.

    Anywayyyyy…I read about your thoughts about culinary school. I went to culinary school after graduating from college and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I went because like you, I loved cooking, and wanted to know the proper way to do everything. There are some things about it that can get frustrating – tourneeing potatoes and butchering chickens for 6 hours a day can really make a girl question her sanity! Overall, I think it’s something that you would really enjoy. I now work in a consulting firm but am forever grateful for the experience and knowledge I gained. Oh and once I mandolined off the bottom part of the palm of my hand. GOOD TIMES!

    I am trying your chipotle marinade tonight – will report back!

    Thanks for all of the laughs and encouragement you offer – you are a fab girl! Don’t listen to any of the shitheads who tell you otherwise. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  32. On life and stuff June 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. If you’d like to accept this award then please take it to your blog and pass it on – if this is not your thing then please accept this as a compliment on your blog.


    Thanks!! Ari

  33. Sierra J June 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I made this chicken tonight for dinner & my entire family loved it. I will never cook chicken without a brick again. The skin was golden and crispy.

  34. Jane June 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi Chrissy!! I’ve just discovered your blog last week and subscribed…have become grotesquely obsessed with reading all of your entries (and you of course!)…I honestly love all of the recepies you posted on here. I tried making the peach-whiskey BBQ chicken…mine didn’t turn out as delushious looking as yours did 😦 but it was still awesome (no awful pics included, sorry) Anyway, I wanted to write to you because I know your really busy and all being the AWESOME gal that you are, but….Can you pleeeeeeaaaaseee post more entries?? Thanks bunches! xoxo

  35. Jo Somebody June 17, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Why am I Googling BBQs? I could just wait until I’m home from Uni, couldn’t I? Actually, no…

  36. Lizzie June 17, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    I have never loved a blog so much as yours! You are so chill and witty, Chrissy. Would you ever think about having your own cooking show or something like on the Food Network?? And going along with all the positive vibes above — don’t listen to any negative nancys out there. And seriously you need to have your own show!!

  37. kalorin June 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on Kal's World and commented:

  38. Rodene June 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I agree with you! More cool chicks should cook! πŸ™‚ I cook for my man too. http://rodene.wordpress.com/

  39. Mike Lowery July 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Sounds great. Making this tomorrow

  40. probably jorn (@_jorn) July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    More crazy fucking food porn from Chrissy. I can whip this recipe up WHILE I AM DRINKING.

    Failure is not an option. w00

  41. Lillie July 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Chrissy! You haven’t posted in so long and you even tweeted that you’d post today 9 hours ago. I surely hope it doesn’t take 9 hours to get a post done. Can’t wait for your next post.

  42. Kendall July 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Great flavors. Actually used this mix on wings today. Marinated with the herb and red pepper flake salt, olive oil, lemon zest and the juice of one lemon. Grilled them up and they were amazing.

  43. Lenny July 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    This makes me wanna buy bricks….but I live in england, and although we do have bricks, I think “‘que” season had been and gone! I know nothing beats the charcoal barbeque, but in the meantime would it work on a griddle pan on a gas stove?! Or am I gonna set my house on fire?? Thanks x

  44. carl July 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    how are you from washington and you prefer lawrys over johnny’s? blasphemous

  45. elizzyd July 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    This is was soooo amazeballs delish! I added lemon zest. Yep, I did.

  46. Ashley October 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I am a huge foodie & am always trying new things so I was excited to see what this brick chicken you speak so highly of was all about. My husband is used to me trying new things with food but this one gave him some doubts. I told him I was making “brick chicken” for dinner & he asked why it’s called that. I said because you grill the chicken under a brick. He said, “why a brick? if its just for the weight, why dont you just use a heavy rock?” To myself I thought…hmm thats a good question but out load i said “because that’s how they do it in Tuscany ok!!! im going to Home depot to buy some bricks, I’ll be back”. As I’m leaving he said – do the bricks add a special flavor? I said uhh no cuz you cover them in foil. He continued to stare at me like I was stupid.

    I came home with my bricks & the chicken was marinating. I bought the chicken fryers which is basically a half chicken – big mistake – too big to cook evenly. So I throw those beautiful babies on the grill & lay the brick on top. Im standing there looking at them with a sense of accomplishment & pride as my husband is still looking at me like Im a complete weirdo. So about 8 minutes goes by & I see a great deal of smoke coming from the grill. My husband yells, “your chickens on fire” all nonchalant. I run to check on them & sure enough they are burning a blaze! I splash water on the flame & my chickens are black, burnt, ruined!! I wanted to cry. Ok I did for a minute but didn’t let him see. In the process of them being on fire they got cooked all the way thru & just out of principle I sat at the dinner table & ate that black piece of meat along with my delicious fingerling potatoes & zucchini salad. I will definitely try this again to redeem myself because the flavor was still delish. Thanks for sharing the recipe πŸ™‚

    • chrissyteigen October 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      lol thank you for this. yeah it’s hard to even cook even just a couple breasts evenly! sometimes I have to buy a few packs and pull out the ones that are a similar thickness. then they cook evenly, and they all finish at the same time.

      good luck!!

  47. Keisha Sirgiovanni February 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I would love to learn to cook with you one day!

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