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.
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.