December 3rd, 2017

Chicken Cooked Under a Brick & Pear and Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Bacon
Back to Blog List

Saturday we went to two parties.  The first was my Newcomer Group.  We really aren’t new, it is just we have not lived in Nashville forever.  They had a lovely dinner.  Next we went to Jim’s cooked group party.  The coffee group has wine club members and and dance club members and many other interesting people.  And again wonderful food and drinks.  

Sunday I started right after breakfast with dinner.  I took time out to go to John and Tamera’s house for a Holiday Tea with the Democratic women.  I am now an official member of the Democratic Women of Tennessee.  

Breakfast was bacon and scrambled eggs with pepper, mushrooms and cheddar cheese.  

Time for chicken again.  I fixed the wonderful grilled chicken from Mario Batali, Italian Grill.  It says to refrigerate for 12 hours.  Mine got close to 8 and it was fine.  It serves 6 so again, I cut it in half.  We have enough of everything leftover for Monday night.  

I used a prepared rice dish called vegetable paella.  I wasn’t keen on it.  The Brussels sprout hash from Costco was also a winner.  

Il Galletto Al Mattone


2 young chickens (about 3# each)

3 T fennel pollen or ground toasted fennel seeds

1/4 C sea salt or kosher slat

1 T freshly ground black pepper

1 T chopped fresh thyme

1/4 C EVOO

About 1/2 C chopped fresh Italian parsley

Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut down along both sides of the backbone of each chicken and remove it.  Turn the chickens king side up and press down hard on them with your palms to crack the breastbones and flatten them.  Remove the excess fat and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the fennel, salt, pepper and thyme.  Pat the mixture onto both sides of the chickens, coating them generously.  Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and refrigerate  for 12 hours.
  3. An hour before you are ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator.  
  4. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.  Wrap two clean bricks in a double thickness of heath-duty aluminum foil and place them on the hot par of the grill to preheat.
  5. Gently blot the chicken dry.  Rub the birds all over with the oil.  
  6. Using pot holders or oven mitts, move the bricks to the side of the grill.  Oil the grill rack, using a clean rag dipped in oil or a basting brush.  Place the chickens skin side down on the line midway between coals and no coals.  Place a brick on top of each chicken, cover the grill, and cook for 10 minutes.  Move the bricks to the side of the grill again, carefully lift up each chicken, making sure the at the skin doesn’t tear and place skin side up on the hot part of the grill.  Place the bricks on top again, cover the grill and cook for 15 minute, being careful to snuff any flare-ups with a squirt gun.  
  7. Remove the bricks, carefully turn the chicken over, and cook, still on the hot part of the grill, for 5 minutes more, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F.  
  8. Transfer the chickens to a platter and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.  

While the chicken was grilling I made the Brussels sprouts.  Earlier I had fried the bacon pieces and cleaned and halved the sprouts.


5 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces

2# Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved


Salt and ground black pepper

2 ripe Bartlett pears, large dice

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees F.  
  2. Place bacon pieces in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has been rendered out and bacon is beginning to get crispy. 
  3. Place sprouts on a sheet pan.  Pour bacon and fat from pan over the sprouts.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Toss thoroughly to coat sprouts with seasoning.  Transfer to oven.  
  4. Bake has 22-24 minutes, stirring once during cooking.  Add diced pears and thyme leaves and toss together gently.  Return hash to oven for 4-5 minutes to warm pears through.  
  5. Serve immediately.  

The evening ended with a pumpkin pie I made earlier in the day.  Very good Sunday dinner.