Chicken al Mattone

After a long and arduous hiatus, full of studying for the MCAT and, well, still more MCAT studying, I’m back with a stockpile of photos and recipes I have been trying to share with you all. I came across this recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit, as I was waiting in the checkout line of the super market. I normally don’t buy magazines at the checkout, because they’re so much more expensive than if you had a subscription. However, the cover recipe looked so delicious, I just had to cave and purchase the magazine. The term “al Mattone” means “under a brick” and that is precisely how you cook this chicken. If you don’t have any random bricks lying around, don’t fret. I didn’t either, but a heavy cast iron skillet works just as well.

Chicken al Mattone and Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary

This is a delicious meal that looks stunning, tastes delicious, and is fun to say. Serve with roasted red potatoes with rosemary. This meal is sure to impress your guests.

Chicken al Mattone and Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary

Chicken al Mattone (from Bon Appetit, September 2009)

  • 1 4-pound whole chicken, backbone cut away and discarded, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped; plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, and the garlic in a small bowl. Set aside. Butterfly the chicken after patting it dry, place the chicken skin-side down on a aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Rub the mixture on both sides of the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours, though preferably overnight. Before cooking, sprinkle chicken with salt and a little freshly ground pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Cook until the skin is golden, about 7 minutes). Without turning the chicken over, place a foil-wrapped brick or heavy cast-iron skillet on top of the chicken and roast in the oven at 400° for 30 minutes. At this time take the brick or skillet off and turn the chicken over, placing the brick or skillet back on the chicken. Roast for another 15 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced. Remove from oven and place chicken skin-side up on a platter. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a little drizzle of olive oil, crushed red pepper and parsley. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

Chicken al Mattone

Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary

  • 8-10 red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss the cut up potatoes with enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Add the rosemary. Salt and pepper the potatoes to your liking. On an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, spread out potatoes evenly. Put baking sheet on the top rack (the chicken can then cook on the bottom rack). Cook potatoes for 30-45 minutes. For those (like me) who prefer crispier potatoes, bake them a little longer, but if you prefer softer potatoes take them out when they are cooked to your preference. Serve alongside Chicken al Mattone.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Had to share this with you…the “real” Italian name is: Galletto al Mattone

    Which roughly translates to cock under a brick, for the chicken that is used!

    Had this at Ristorante Galletto al Mattone in Genoa, Italy-here is their website for a peek at their logo!


    Susan and Wade

    1. The King says:

      I love it! Always fun learning little tidbits like that. In other news congrats on being my 50th comment!!!! Sorry, prize not included.

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