Chicken under a brick is a quick and easy way to cook a whole chicken in a skillet. The meat is perfectly juicy and the skin is a wonderful crisp golden brown. Simple to make with a few ingredients, it’s my favorite way to roast a chicken.
I love roasting a whole chicken for weekend family dinners, and this foolproof method is so much quicker and totally hassle free! The results are always amazing and people can’t get enough of the crispy skin!
This roast chicken dinner is perfect to serve up with all of your favorite sides like roasted potatoes and sautéed veggies.
Why you’ll love Chicken Under A Brick!
- Simple ingredients: There’s nothing fancy about this recipe, that the results are amazing! Lemon, fresh herbs and garlic season the meat so that it zingy and fresh in flavor.
- Quicker cooking time: This chicken only takes 50 minutes to cook, compared to around an hour and a half if you roast a whole chicken without using this method.
- Crispy skin: I can not tell you how good the skin is! The chicken meat is so wonderfully juicy and the skin, is quite honestly, perfection!
How to make chicken under a brick
Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!
- Prep – Preheat the oven. Rinse and pat the chicken dry and flatten it with your hands. Brush over the lemon and oil mix and let the chicken rest.
- Make – Season the chicken and heat some oil in a skillet.
- Cook – Place the chicken in a skillet and add a another to the top to press it down. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, flip over and add the remaining ingredients. Roast until cooked through.
- Serve – Let the chicken rest before carving.
What’s the best chicken to use?
The chicken is truly the star of the show here, so it’s worth buying the best you can for this recipe. At a minimum the chicken should be antibiotic free, and if you can buy organic and air chilled which will have the most flavor.
Do you have to spatchcok the chicken?
I love a spatchcocked chicken, and this method is very similar, in terms that you flatten the chicken to cook it, but the beauty is that you don’t need to cut the chicken, you just press it down very firmly to flatten it. This makes prep a breeze and it’s perfect if you are short on time.
How long do the leftovers keep?
Leftover roasted chicken is one of my favorite things! Remove as much meat as you can from the carcass and place it in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days. You can then use the meat in dishes like Mango Chicken Salad and Instant Pot White Chicken Chili. You can also use the bones to make homemade stock, so nothing goes to waste.
Perfectly Cooked & Juicy Chicken
Use an instant read thermometer to make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through. It should register at 165F. This ensures it is safe, delicious, and juicy!
More Recipe Notes and Tips
- Feel free to use other fresh herbs as well as thyme. Sage and rosemary both work really well.
- After cooking chicken under a brick, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to redistribute so that the meat is wonderfully juicy.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Herb Butter Roasted Chicken
- Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken
- Dijon Mustard Chicken Recipe
- Creamy Garlic Chicken
Chicken Under a Brick
- 3 lb whole chicken backbone cut out and flattened
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves plus 5 more sprigs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 garlic cloves unpeeled
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Rinse chicken and pat chicken dry. Place the chicken on a large plastic cutting board, breast-side up. Use your hands and strength to flatten the chicken as much as possible.
- Mix 1 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon thyme together. Brush over the surface of the chicken. Let the chicken rest uncovered in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Season the entire surface of the chicken with salt and pepper, about 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Once the oil and pan is hot, add the chicken, breast-side down in the pan. Add another cast-iron skillet on top of the chicken. Set the timer for three minutes and transfer the chicken to the oven.
- Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully take the top skillet off and flip the chicken over. Add the butter, remaining thyme sprigs, and garlic cloves. Toss the garlic cloves in the fat and butter. Spoon some of the juices and fat on top of the chicken skin. Place back in the oven on the top rack and cook another 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
- Lett the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife to carve the chicken. I like to gently carve off the breasts and slice them. Then cut the thighs and drumettes off so guests can have a few pieces of white and dark meat.