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Posts Tagged ‘organic chicken’

20130407_Chicken_Lemons_DSC_9724

 

My favorite combo – easy as pie, beautiful to serve, and so delicious; grilled chicken halves with grilled lemon.  All you do is split small chickens in half, lengthwise, of course.  Place them in a resealable plastic bag with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest (as much or as little as you like, and some rosemary.  Marinate for a half hour or so and then season with salt and pepper and throw them on a hot grill – or, if you don’t have an outdoor grill, a hot stove top grill pan.  Grill for about 30 minutes, turning frequently, or until nicely charred and cooked through.  Just before ready, add a few lemon halves to the grill, cut side down.  Serve the chickens drizzled with more extra virgin olive oil (preferably a tart green one) and a good healthy dose of hot lemon juice.  Add a tossed green salad and, in this case, some warm cherry tomatoes, and some crusty bread and a perfect meal is on the table – an everyday one or a guest-ready one.

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Some years ago – perhaps with the advance of “upscale” Italian restaurants – everyone was cooking chicken under a brick (or pollo al mattone as Tuscan’s call it).  It became so popular that it was no longer cooked under a brick, but under a heavy cast iron implement made specifically for the job.  Traditionally, the chicken is not split into 2 pieces, it is simply opened up by cutting out the back bone.  But I prefer to cut it in half for quicker and easier cooking.  I use Cornish game hens as even a half of those little guys is more than I can eat.  I cut out the back bone and split the bird in half along the breast; then, I marinate for about 30 minutes in some olive oil, lemon zest, herbs (usually rosemary and oregano, but you can use whatever you have on hand), and just a little lemon juice.  I put my grill pan on high heat and when it is glowing I quickly season with a good dose of salt and pepper and pop the meat in, skin side down, top with my cast iron “brick” and wait a few minutes until they get nice and golden brown and crusty.  Give them a turn, cover again, and in another few minutes we sit down to moist, lemony chicken with crisp, salty skin.

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