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Carrabba’s Brick Chicken "Pollo Al Mattone"

Brick Chicken

A FAVORITE DISH Brick Chicken is one of the dishes that made Carrabba’s famous. Using a heavy weight, like this old iron, makes the chicken tender. (Photo: Debora Smail)

A favorite dish at Carrabba’s, this is a simple, classy Italian recipe. Try covering a brick in aluminum foil and using it inside a frying pan to provide the weight that makes this chicken extra tender. Carrabba’s serves this with the bones in after pounding it.


Preparing the chicken:
2 chicken halves, bone in, skin on
Kosher salt for seasoning
Black pepper for seasoning
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter
¼ cup chopped white onion
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
½ cup white wine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
1 heaping Tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley


1 large rosemary sprig

Recipe directions: 

Preparing the chicken:
Preheat oven to 350°. Place the chicken halves inside a plastic bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken halves (approx. 12-15 swings) to slightly flatten and tenderize the chicken (the chicken rib bones will break). Remove from the plastic bag and liberally season both sides with salt, pepper and rosemary, making sure the seasoning covers the chicken, including all the folds.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until smoking. Place the seasoned chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Top the chicken with a heavy weight (such as a weighted skillet). Cook for approx. 5-6 minutes. Remove the weight, turn the chicken over, and then return the weight to the other side of the chicken. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until thoroughly browned. Finish the chicken in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°.

While chicken is in the oven, prepare the sauce. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium-low and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute, until they begin to soften. Add the white wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, for another 4 minutes. Reduce the heat and gradually whisk in the chunks of cold butter along with the sliced garlic and rosemary until the butter is completely melted. Stir in the chopped parsley. Plate the cooked chicken and liberally top with the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

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