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Grilled Chicken Under Bricks

Chicken Breasts

This dish is Italian. In Italy, the name of Grilled Chicken Under Bricks dish is Pollo al Matone. The bricks give the chicken 3-D grill marks.

Ingredients

2 large, whole, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (12 to 16 ounces each) or four breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 standard-size bricks, each wrapped in aluminum foil
Oak chucks for building fire, or 2 cups wood chips (preferably oak) soaked for one hour in cold water to cover, then drained

Directions

If using whole breasts, cut each in half. Trim off any sinews or excess fat and discard. Rinse breasts under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Sprinkle breasts on both sides with salt, cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle breasts with garlic and rosemary, patting it on with your fingers. Arrange breasts in non-reactive baking dish. Pour lemon juice and oil over them and let marinate in refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to one hour.

Set up grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Ideally, build fire with oak chunks. Otherwise, use charcoal or gas, and soaked wood chips for smoke. If using gas grill, place all wood chips in smoker box or in smoker pouch and preheat until you see smoke.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grills grate. If using charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals. Arrange the chicken breasts on the hot grate, all facing the same direction, at 45-degree angle to bars of grate. Place a brick on top of each. Grill breasts until cooked, four to six minutes each side, rotating breasts 90 degrees after two minutes on each side to create cross-hatch of grill marks. To test for doneness, poke a breast in thickest part with your finger. It should feel firm.

Transfer breasts to plates or platter and serve at once.

Nutrition Information

Recipe makes 4 servings.

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