Is My Blog Burning? Pollo al Pietra (Chicken Under a Stone)

chickenstone1

As announced by the good folks at Too Many Chefs, "Grillers (and Barbecuers) Delight" is the theme of the sixth installment of Is My Blog Burning? (IMBB).

Previous editions of IMBB, the spontaneously arranged worldwide online cooking event, have focused on soup, tartines, cake, rice, and fish.

As much as I enjoy eating grilled food, the grilling theme presents a major challenge to the city dwelling cook. When you live on the sixth floor of an apartment building without any access to outdoor grilling space, there are three grilling alternatives available:

1. Indoor grilling using a cast iron grill pan.
2. Public grilling at a New York City park.
3. Emigration to suburbia.

Option #1 is a highly effective, albeit smoky, alternative for the grill-less masses. I own one of these grill pans and have made some fantastic meals using it, but it produces an immense amount of smoke. I have been known to rig up fans to blow smoke out the kitchen window as a beautiful skirt steak sizzles away, though it still makes a mess. In addition to the smoke problem, the grill pan's extremely small amount of grilling real estate makes it very difficult to cook anything too large.

I seriously considered option #2, especially after reading about Matt and Ted Lee's article about grilling in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. However, I had some trouble getting my head around the idea of actually cooking on a public grill. Although the high heat would effectively sterilize the cooking grates, I found the idea of using a public grill a little too unsavory. Who knows what's been cooking on those grills? And what about pigeons relieving themselves overhead? I finally decided against it when, despite these hygienic issues, I feared that the weather could turn bad and we'd end up getting rained out.

We decided to go with option #3, heading out to the New Jersey suburbs to create our "griller's delight" at my mother-in-law's house.

I decided to make Pollo al Mattone (Chicken under a Brick) from Mario Batali's The Babbo Cookbook. I had always heard of this dish, wherein chicken is pressed flat onto the grill by the weight of a brick, and here was my chance to give it a try.

The recipe called for grilling four poussins, or whole baby chickens (one per person). The first step required butterflying each chicken by removing its backbone (with kitchen shears) and then flattening it out. The chicken is then seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and rubbed with extra virgin olive oil. Although I thought I had planned well for the meal, I ended up forgetting to pick up the necessary bricks which go on top of the chickens to press them down into the grill. We looked around and found a large stone in the yard, washed it off, and covered it in aluminum foil to use in place of the bricks.

I grilled the chicken in two batches. The first two flattened chickens went onto the grill skin side down and the stone on top. As they cooked, the skin stuck to the grill and never really crisped up. When I started the on the second round, I noticed that there was a much hotter area on the left left side of the grill, so I moved the new batch there. As the skin that was in contact with the grill charred and crisped, the juice in the meat seamed to bubble up and steam against the surface of the stone. This is how it should be, I thought. To anyone who tries this, I would recommend that very high heat is essential.

I served the chicken with panzanella (also from The Babbo Cookbook), the Tuscan bread salad which combines cubes of day-old or lightly toasted bread with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, fresh basil and oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and red wine vinegar. The salad rested for about 30 minutes before serving. When it came time to eat, the tomatoes and other vegetables had released their juices, which the bread sucked up, along with the olive oil and tangy vinegar. The fresh, filling salad was a fantastic accompaniment to the grilled chicken.

Thanks to Too Many Chefs for another IMBB!

chickenstone

panzanella

BEFORE AND AFTER Chicken under a brick stone and savory panzanella (above). A properly grilled poussin (top).


 





Comments

Hi Josh-
Your meal sounds wonderful and inspires me to try and get over my fear of grilling...one of these days. Chicken under a brick sounds just like my kind of cooking. I just recently acquired The Babbo Cookbook and am enjoying some of the recipes, must make the panzanella, yours looks awesome.

 

Deb,

Thank you! If you are looking for another grilling opportunity to get over your fears, I can personally vouch for the skirt steak with grilled endive and salsa verde in The Babbo Cookbook.

The panzanella was fantastic, made better by some amazing (and expensive) heirloom tomatoes. Use good bread too. I used a rustic pugliese -- probably not the proper regional bread -- but delicious.

 

Even the first batch was really good.

 

Josh -- your chicken looks and sounds absolutely delcious! I have been eyeing this Batali recipe for a while, as well as a few other versions of cooking under a brick and I must say, you make it sound quite easy!

Look out, I've got a brick!

 

Thanks, Jennifer. It got easier once I found that sweet spot on the grill. Keep puttin' that brick to good use!

 

I've been doing this for a few years - I always thought I invented it. How embarassing.

 

This is a great recipe. I do not have Batali's book, but my mother used to make this dish all the time. In fact she often cooked it in a pan, using a pot full of water as the "Mattone". The chicken came out thin and crisp, with succulent juices and a great aroma.
BTW, public grills are fine. As you noticed, the heat pretty much sterilizes everything. I wish I could say the same of many restaurants.

 

[url=http://www.spbgu.ru/blog33831#4]female domination strap on[/url]
[url=http://www.spbgu.ru/blog33832#6]domination submission[/url]
[url=http://www.spbgu.ru/blog33833#3]free foot fetish[/url]
[url=http://www.spbgu.ru/blog33834#4]friend hot mom mrs rose[/url]

 

I am impressed to see this blog. There is a lots of imformation for me. I naver been seen this type infomative place . I m very thank full to the owner of this blog. http://www.cheapviagrabuy.com

 

http://www.batterylaptoppower.com/dell/6000.htm dell 6000 battery ,

 

the most convenient and cheap replacement battery online shop in uk. We specialize in http://www.batteryfast.com laptop batteries,laptop AC adapters. All our products are brand new, with the excellent service from our customer service team.

 

Interested in How to Pass a Drug Test? We offer various free information and sources to make sure you pass your drug test! No need to spend money and fail a drug test, we can provide you with tips to pass a drug test for free! We recommend that you read our various articles so that you can learn about the history of drug testing, and how to easily pass a drug test. The immediate and most important goals of detoxification is start eliminating toxins such as

 

This is such an information blog i have seen in my whole life, i am seriously inspired by this blog entry and i am glad to post my views there. thanks to webmaster.

 

penis enlargement products and penis enlargement reviews that discover top penis size enlargement pills, patches, oils and devices that gain 1-3 inches gain in your penis size at www.penissizeenlargement.net

 

hello webmaster! i am really appreciating you for your kindness that you have made a really interesting blog and pick all the great topics for which peoples are always seeking to get information and share their ideas. Great work Man and keep it going. God bless you!

 

Rimonabant (also known as Zimulti, Acomplia, Slimona or Obitone) is an anorectic anti obesity drug. It is a CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist. Rimonabant has been found to stop food craving enough to help people lose weight, and could also help curb other unhealthy urges, such as smoking. www.genericacomplia.us

 

That's really true, i have also searched and came to know that there are many methods for internet marketing, one can find many web marketing ways in social networking sites like face book and twitter. www.male-sexual-styles.com

 

This article is very interesting. Thank you very much for sharing .

 

Thank you very much for sharing

 

Picks looks YUMMY! Thanks! But I also would like to share my blog about
natural male enhancement pills. If you tried extenze personally please let me know ASAP!

 

Post a comment