Grilled Brick Chicken
This week I’m sharing how I cook Grilled Brick Chicken on the Big Green Egg. All you need is a fresh chicken, a couple bricks, and some basic ingredients to create a delicious tasting bird right on your grill.
First thing you need is a whole chicken. You want one that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 3½ lbs for this recipe. If your chicken weighs less or more, it’s ok you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time a little bit.
Normally whole chickens are packed with giblets, so check the cavity. You can save these for making stock or just toss them in the trash. It’s recommended not to wash chicken because it’s easy to spread germs to other areas of your kitchen, so simply pat the cavity and outer skin dry with paper towel.
Place the chicken breast side down on a plastic cutting board designated for raw meat. For this Grilled Brick Chicken recipe you want the chicken to lay flat on the grill, so more meat comes into contact with the grilling surface. The technique is called spatchcock chicken. All it takes is removing the backbone. Use a pair of kitchen shears and cut down each side of the backbone.
Once the spine is removed located the small “U” shaped bone at the front of the breast. Cut through this bone about ¼” but be careful not to go all the way through the skin. The chicken should lay completely flat now. Flip the chicken skin side up and tuck the wing tips behind the bird.
Brush the Grilled Brick Chicken skin with vegetable oil and liberally dust the outside with AP Rub (salt, pepper, garlic). To add even more flavor I layer on a light coat of dried herbs. I use a blend called Herb de Provence which is a mixture of Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Marjoram, and Savory. You can find it at most stores or use any combination of dried herbs you like. Repeat the process on the back side of the chicken as well.
Let the chicken hang out at room temperature while the grill comes up to temperature. For this cook I use my Big Green Egg set up with the heat deflector. The temp needs to run at 300⁰, so if you’re using another grill just hold the temperature in this range.
Also we need a little smoke to add another layer of flavor to our Grilled Brick Chicken. I love the flavor pecan gives poultry, so place a couple chunks of seasoned pecan wood directly on the hot coals.
You’ll also need a couple bricks to press the chicken down during the cooking process. Make sure the bricks are clean and wrap each in aluminum foil. If you don’t have bricks a heavy cast iron skillet works great. The bricks weigh down the chicken and cause more surface area to come into contact with the hot grate.
Once the grill is up to temperature, place the chicken on the cooking grate and sit a brick on each half. Anytime I’m cooking chicken it’s more about internal temperature than time, so you’ll need a good probe thermometer to monitor it. The best probe thermometer I’ve found is the Thermoworks Chef Alarm. You can find them online (usually you can catch them on sale), so just keep an eye out.
Insert the probe into the thickest part of thigh and set the thermometer for 175 degrees. At this point you just need to monitor temps. After 45 minutes remove the bricks and carefully flip the chicken over. The skin should be a nice golden color. Brush the top with melted butter and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. Close the lid and continue cooking the Grilled Brick Chicken until the temperature hits 175⁰ in the thigh about 15 more minutes.
When the alarm sounds, the Grilled Brick Chicken should be done, but it’s always a good idea to verify the internal temperatures. You’ll need a reliable hand held thermometer like the MK4 Thermapen for this. (It’s the one bbq tool that is as important as the grill). Internal temperature should be 165⁰ in the breast and 175⁰ in the thigh.
I can’t stress enough how important internal temperature is when it comes to chicken. You do not want to serve undercooked chicken and shooting the temps over even a little can dry it out. That’s why I always cook to internal temp when I’m cooking Grilled Brick Chicken.
Now that the Grilled Brick Chicken is done remove it from the grill and allow it rest for at least 5 minutes before carving. Use a sharp knife and cut straight down the breast bone dividing the chicken in half. You can serve it this way for a meal or divide it into individual pieces if you like.
The total cook time is about 1 hour and laying the Grilled Brick Chicken flat and using bricks to weight it down creates a nice crust on the skin. It’s guaranteed to be juicy and packed with flavor.
Give this Grilled Brick Chicken recipe a try the next time you fire up the grill!
Grilled Brick Chicken on the Big Green Egg