Highway chicken (Pollo al Mattone)
There are a number of names for this type of chicken. For this recipe, we opted for Highway Chicken, which sounds pretty funny but it also makes its origins quite clear… The technique used is one that is common in Southern Europe and in countries in South America: pollo al mattone (chicken under a brick). The trick is to be able to cook the entire chicken in about 30 minutes. This is made possible by folding open the chicken and grilling it on the Cast Iron Grid under two heavy bricks. As part of the cooking process, we turn over the Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grid to increase the amount of contact heat, because the bars of the grid are wider underneath.
For the chicken
- 1 organic chicken
- 1 large chilli pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch of sage
- olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- 1 organic lemon
- 150g butter
PREPARATION IN ADVANCE
- Using poultry scissors, cut the backbone out of the chicken by cutting through the ribs on both sides of the vertebra. Squash the chicken flat by pushing it down firmly with your open hands.
- Remove the stem and the seeds from the chilli pepper and peel the garlic. Finely chop the pepper and garlic and five sage leaves. Put the chicken, skin-side down, into the Rectangular Drip Pan, sprinkle generously with olive oil and sea salt. Sprinkle with half the pepper, garlic and sage, and grate half lemon zest over it. Turn the chicken over and do the same with the other half of the same ingredients. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto the chicken. Put the Drip Pan in the refrigerator and leave to marinate for 4 hours.
- Ignite the Big Green Egg, and place the Cast Iron Grid upside down in the EGG. Heat up the EGG to 165-175°C. Meanwhile, wrap two bricks in high-quality aluminium foil and heat them up on the grid.
- Put the chicken, skin side down, flat on the grid then – ideally using the EGGmitt – put the bricks on top of the chicken. Close the lid of the EGG and grill for 15-20 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden.
- Turn the chicken over, put the bricks back onto the chicken, close the lid and grill for another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining sage leaves and heat up the butter and a pinch of sea salt in a pan. Drizzle the butter over the chicken before serving.
If you would like to receive your dose of inspiration by e-mail, then register for our monthly newsletter Inspiration Today and add some more flavour to your inbox. That’s all you have to do to receive the most delicious recipes, inspiring seasonal menus, practical tips and much, much more!