CHICKEN UNDER A BRICK WITH HERB SAUCE
1 3-4# Chicken (organic, free range if available) rinsed and dried
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 Tbs. chopped basil
1 Tbs. chopped chives
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare or ‘spatchcock’ the chicken by using a large knife or kitchen scissors and cut the chicken through the ribs on either side of the backbone (not the breastbone!). Remove and discard. Turn the chicken over and cut the wing tips off, then use the heel of your hand to press the chicken breast flat.
Place the chicken in a large bowl or dish and add 2 Tbs. olive oil, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, and lemon zest. Rub skin completely with marinade. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Wrap 2 bricks completely with aluminum foil. Place a large heavy bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add 2 Tbs olive oil and heat until just shimmering and hot, but not smoking. Place chicken skin side down in the skillet, then carefully weigh down with 2 bricks that are wrapped completely with foil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the skin is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.
Remove bricks and carefully turn chicken over. Add juice of 1 lemon directly in to skillet and place in oven. Roast chicken until cooked through and internal temperature in thickest part of the breast is 160 degrees, about 25 minutes.
When chicken is cooked through, remove from skillet and let rest on a cutting board while you make the sauce. Place skillet over low heat and gently stir in parsley, basil, chives and butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and spoon sauce over chicken to serve.