Flattened Chicken Under a Brick

Flattened Chicken Under a Brick.jpg

Flattened chicken cooks quicker than a whole chicken without losing that great roasted flavour. It is readily available at butcher shops or you can butterfly your own by removing the back and breast bones yourself. I saw this technique for roasting chicken under a weight in California and the juicy crispy product is a superb taste.  Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and green beans with walnuts. Smaller chickens bake best. You can use the hot smoked paprika if desired.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Serves: 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp mild smoked paprika

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3- to 3.5-pound (1.2- to 1.5-kilogram) chicken, butterflied


Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Combine tarragon, Dijon, paprika, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and rub all over chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour remaining oil over the base of a rimmed baking sheet and place chicken, skin side down, in baking sheet. Place a piece of parchment paper on a smaller baking sheet. Place parchment side-down over chicken. Weight down with a brick or other heavy oven-proof object. Bake for 20 minutes, turn chicken skin-side up, replacing weighted baking pan, and bake another 15 minutes. Remove weighted baking pan and bake for 10 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Remove from oven. Place chicken on a carving board. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Slice chicken down through the breast to divide into two and remove leg and thigh from each half. Serve warm.