“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!
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