Chicken (or Cornish Hen) with Chimichurri Sauce….. “Under a Brick”

You don't have to do this with the Chimichurri recipe, it's just one I ran across and tried.

Also doesn't matter if you use chicken or Cornish hen, or even if you do it on the grill, or on the stove in a cast iron skillet (though I prefer the grill), this is an awesome, simple treat.

The only thing that is mandatory is a few bricks, or a replacement like a super heavy cast iron skillet to rest on top of the chicken.

I get pasture raised chickens from Whole Foods, not cheap, but the taste is well worth the cash (I don't recommend eating commercial chickens). I often only season Whole Foods chickens with Pink Himalayan Salt and Pepper.

There are variations you can do with the brick thing……i.e. you can set the brick on top of parchment paper (I'm not a fan of the traditional alumnium foil), or you can set a heavy cast iron pan over the chicken, or set  a regular pan on the chicken and set the brick in the pan.

Any way you sling it, its something about the weight of the brick, searing the chicken super fast, that makes this a super simple, but unique treat, that will get you mucho "style points" from your guests.

Cornish Hen (or Chicken) with Chimichurri Sauce….. "Under a Brick"

 

For the chimichurri:

1 cup  lightly packed fresh organic cilantro leaves
1 cup  lightly packed fresh flat-leaf organic parsley leaves
1 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup  fresh squeezed lemon juice from organic lemon
2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
2 Tbs. grated orange zest from organic orange
4 organic cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt or Celtic Sea Salt (AVOID COMMON TABLE SALT)

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. organic ground cumin

______________________________________

3 pasture raised small chickens, or Cornish hens (most Whole Foods have pasture raised chickens, which are small, like a large Cornish hen, I AVOID CONVENTIONAL CHICKENS)

3 Tbs. wild raw honey
Olive oil for brushing
optional additional organic lemon slices to sit between chicken and brick

Directions

To make the chimichurri, combine the cilantro, parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and cumin in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the Cornish hens, first trim off and discard the extra fat from the necks and just inside the body cavities. Place 1 hen on a cutting board, breast side down. Using poultry shears, cut through the flesh and bone from the neck end to the tail along each side of the backbone. Remove the backbone completely. Turn the hen breast side up and spread it open. Cut out the breastbone and discard. Cut off the wing tips and any loose skin. Pull down on the legs to lay them flat. Turn the hen over and, using the palms of both hands, press down on the hen to flatten it as much as possible. Repeat with the remaining 2 hens.

Rub the hens all over with the honey and place them in a ceramic or glass baking dish or a large zippered plastic bag. Pour half of the chimichurri over the hens and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and marinate the hens in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to overnight, turning several times.

……..Directions Continued

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. Separately wrap 3 bricks in heavy-duty aluminum foil (although I prefer to set bricks in pan or on top of parchment paper). Brush the grill rack with oil. Remove the hens from the marinade and place, skin side down, on the rack. Discard the marinade. Position a brick on top of each hen so that it covers as much of the bird as possible. Grill until the skin is golden, 8-10 minutes.

Wearing oven mitts or grill gloves, remove the bricks. Using metal tongs and a large spatula, carefully turn over the hens. Replace the bricks and continue grilling until the hens are dark golden brown on the second side and cooked through, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh away from the bone registers 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), 8-10 minutes longer.

If serving more than 3 people, cut the hens in half through the breast. Transfer the hens to a serving platter and brush with some of the reserved chimichurri sauce. Serve right away. Pour the remaining chimichurri into a small bowl and pass at the table. Serves 3-6.

 

~stay healthy~

 

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