BBQ Honey Chipotle Chicken Under a Brick
With grilling season starting we are so ready to take our chicken outdoors and put it back on the grill. Grilling chicken under a brick, or pollo al mattone, is a Tuscan style of cooking that involves almost no equipment but for a brick (or big rock), covered in foil, and a hot grill. The brick presses the chicken flat to the grill to create a more even cooking surface, which helps evenly distribute the heat and allows the chicken to cook more evenly. It also establishes greater contact between the chicken skin and the grates of the grill, which helps create lovely and deeply savory sear marks and skin with an overall crispness that's hard to find when you use other cooking methods.
When it's time to start cooking, remove the chicken from its creamy buttermilk marinade. Discard the marinade and pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, then coat the chicken all over with Honey Chipotle Rub. This rub is sweet and spicy with a little bit of chipotle smoke, kept in balance by herbs like rosemary and marjoram and the richness of aromatic onion. This blend will also help with the crisp skin; putting it over heat will allow the sugars in the blend to caramelize, adding a little bit of crunch to the skin as well as a bold and complex flavor.
Put the chicken on the grill skin-side down to maximize its exposure to heat, and then put the brick on top of the chicken. Handle the brick carefully during the cooking process, as it will be very hot. Use a heavy duty grilling glove to lift and move the brick, since your tongs may not be strong enough to hold the hot brick on their own.
With about 10 minutes of cooking time to go, add some Smoky Molasses Rub Barbecue Sauce to the grilling chicken. It's tangy and sweet, with a smooth earthiness from the garlic and onion. This recipe only calls for using a half a cup of the BBQ sauce, but make a full batch and keep the remainder of it close by for dipping. Serve with some corn on the cob and a tall glass of lemonade, and enjoy a summerrific meal!
- Rinse chicken and pat dry.
- Place chicken, buttermilk and lemon juice in a bowl or zip top bag.
- Mix all ingredients well.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.
- Preheat grill to 450° and indirect heat.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator, pat dry and season with Honey Chipotle Rub.
- Place chicken on the grill skin side down and place a foil covered brick on top of chicken. Give the brick a gentle push to create more contact of the chicken to the grill.
- Grill chicken 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally and replacing the brick after turning.
- During the last 10 minutes, remove the bricks and brush the chicken with Bourbon Molasses BBQ sauce.
- Chicken is done when the internal temperature (themometer inserted in the thigh) reads 180 degrees.
- Remove from grill and allow chicken to rest 5 minutes before serving.