Pollo al Mattone | Chicken Under a Brick

Pollo al Mattone” means chicken cooked under a brick. This traditional method uses bricks to weigh down a butterflied chicken, which allows even and quick cooking and yields crispy skin and the most succulent meat. The best Pollo al Mattone I have ever eaten was at a villa we rented in Sarteano, Tuscany. We arranged for a chef to make us dinner upon our arrival. It was salty, lemony, crispy, and juicy. My taste buds were delighted. I asked Chef Gigi how she made this bland bird so flavorful, and she gave me her recipe, which I am now sharing with you. She also explained that this method of cooking poultry originates from the Etruscans. I am positive even way back then, those Etruscans were enjoying this dish with a glorious glass of Tuscan white wine. I suggest Tagete from Poggio Grande. It is a perfect blend of Marsanne Rousanne and the ideal match for this recipe! Salute!

Receipt Date: June 3, 2022
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

See ingredients, directions and pairings.


1 Whole Chicken, butterflied. Ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken for you or use a knife or poultry shears to cut the backbone, then press down on the breast to flatten it as much as possible.

1/3 cup Fresh Lemon Juice

4 tablespoons EVOO

Sprig of Fresh Rosemary

1 Garlic Clove, minced

Splash of White Wine

Pinch of Sea Salt

Pinch of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

2 Bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil. Any heavy, fire-proof object will work


Add the lemon juice, EVOO, a splash of wine, sea salt, pepper, and the rosemary into a large Ziploc bag. Alternatively, you could use a shallow dish.
Transfer the bird into the marinade for 30 minutes and place it in the refrigerator.
Heat an extra-large saute pan over high heat and add a drizzle of EVOO.
When the pan is hot, take the bird out of the marinade and place it skin side down into the pan.
Place the bricks on top of the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium to avoid burning, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
Remove the bricks and flip the birdie over.
Pour the marinade, including the sprig of rosemary, over the chicken and replace the bricks.
Continue cooking over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until done and juices run clear.
Carefully remove the hot bricks and place them in a safe place.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and carve it as desired.
Place the chicken pieces on a serving platter, drizzle any remaining pan juices over the top, and serve immediately.

Amy’s Favorite Pairing

Poggio Grande-TAGETE I.G.T

$39.00 750 ml

Additional Pairings

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