There are plenty of lemon chicken recipes that use a brick to weigh down the poultry. My recipe was inspired by the beautiful Meyer lemons that I found at Whole Foods this week. I had chicken, lemons, thyme, garlic, and butter but I didn’t have a brick! To make this recipe, I had to go to Home Depot. I picked up a couple of plain red bricks, washed them in hot soapy water and wrapped them in foil. I was ready to cook!
I used butter, lemon, garlic, thyme, and sherry for my sauce. I heated the sauce in a heavy braising pan.
I placed a whole chicken with the back bone removed, skin side down in the hot pan.
I covered the chicken with the bricks and let it brown on the stove top for a few minutes, then braised it in the oven.
- 1 3-pound chicken, backbone removed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves peeled garlic
- ¼ cup sherry
- Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 2 - 3 sprigs thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
- 2 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Place the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, zest and sherry into a heavy braising pan or Dutch oven. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the sauce over medium heat until hot and bubbly.
- Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and press the bricks on top. Reduce the heat to low and cook 10 to 12 minutes until the skin is golden brown. Slide the braising pan into the oven and bake 1 hour without removing the bricks. Remove the bricks, flip the chicken over, add the lemon slices and heat under the broiler until the lemons are slightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before slicing, and serving.
Before serving, I removed the bricks, flipped the chicken over, added lemon slices and finished it under the broiler. I served the chicken with angel hair pasta and steamed vegetables. It was flavorful and juicy, simple and stunning. The brick cooking method lets the skin brown beautifully without the meat drying out. Yum.