Good Monday to you all!
If you are a regular reader of the blog, you have read Michelle’s comments about my diabetes. Well, unfortunately, time has run it’s course, and I am now needing medication to keep my blood sugar in check. This also means that my diet has taken a bit of a turn. This does not mean that I am stopping the smoker/grilling part of Man Food Mondays. It means that more of the recipes are going to lean towards a slightly healthier path. Fear not, there will still be pig and steaks a on the cookers here, but I will be looking for better ways to cook them. So, here we go.
A few years back, Michelle and I were staying at a friends lake house for the weekend…without children….our no kids weekends are few and far between especially these days. This was a idyllic place, and it has an awesome kitchen so cooking was part of our plan (it’s always part of our plan). Michelle came up with the idea of cooking a “brick” chicken. With a little research we put it together, the meal was great and that was the only time we had that dish…until now. Given the diet shift, I am eating more chicken and fish, so finding ways to make it tasty is our goal. This week we are smoking a “brick” chicken. For those that are not familiar with the name, a brick chicken is cooked under a regular clay or concrete brick. The brick is covered with foil and it helps to press the chicken flatter and also helps to distribute the heat from the charcoal or gas. This also allows the skin to get crisper and it helps to get the legs and thighs done before the breast meat gets too dry. You can also use this in a conventional oven as we did at the lake house. I suggest using clean bricks (sorry I had to say that).
Let’s get started.
We are cooking a Smoked Rosemary Brick Chicken, by this I mean that the chicken will be cooked on a bed of fresh rosemary sprigs that are around 10 to 12 inches long. Rinse the rosemary in cold water and allow to set submerged in it till you are ready to place it on the grill How this works is as the heat from the charcoal cooks the chicken it will also dry out the rosemary which will flavor the chicken as a result. This dish can also be cooked on a gas or charcoal grill as well as in the oven at around 350°, the cook temperature on a grill will also be higher. If you are cooking on a grill you will use an indirect heat method (the fire will be on one end of your grill and the meat on the other end), keep a spray bottle of water close by because the rosemary will catch fire..Burnt Rosemary Chicken is not a tasty dish! You will also need to keep a very close eye on the chicken as it cooks to help avoid the burnt chicken part!
Smoked Rosemary Brick Chicken for Man Food Mondays
Chicken and Equipment
- 1 large roasting hen 3 to 4 lbs split in half with the neck and giblets removed
- 2 or 3 bricks covered in heavy duty aluminum foil
- 12 +/- fresh sprigs of rosemary from the garden (we have MONSTER rosemary all year round so this is not an issue)
- Apple wood for the smoker
- Spray bottle of water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large lime juiced with some of the pulp ( you can also use the zest if you want)
- 1 tsp. basil ( you can use dried but fresh is better)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 tsp. Ancho pepper
- 1/8 tsp. Paprika
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- salt to taste
- We are going to smoke a whole chicken split in half. I used a large roasting hen that was thawed at the store.
- Taking a pair of kitchen shears you going to cut up one side of the back bone and then down the breast bone so that you have two, more or less, equal halves.
- I also cut out the back bone off the other half.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Place both halves of the chicken in a 1 gallon plastic bag and pour the mixture over the chicken in the bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag and turn it so that it contacts all the chicken. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight (I do overnight). Turn the bag a few times to make sure that every thing gets flavor.
- When you are ready to start your cook remove the bag from the refrigerator so that it can warm a bit and assemble your smoker.
- Bring your temp up to 250°, once it is settled in add your apple wood, and if you are using a smoker that has a water pan set it up.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard whats left in the bag.
- I use a digital thermometer with the prob inserted in the thigh to monitor the meat temp. I am looking for an internal temp of 169°.
- Place the Rosemary sprigs on the grill and set the chicken directly on it, skin side down.
- Place the foil covered bricks directly on the chicken and close the smoker.
- Add charcoal and wood chips periodically. Do not let the temperature drop below 230° for any length of time.
- You are cooking on a smoker, which is indirect heat, so the rosemary should not catch fire, but just in case keep a spray bottle of water handy.
- I took our chicken off the smoker when it reached 160° and placed it in the oven at 350° for the last 9°, this crisped the chicken a little more and gave it a really nice look. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
All in all this was a delicious meal that was not too much of a fuss to put together – just a little planning. And, it was a great Sunday meal.
Take care, and I hope to see you back next week,