COOKING TIP: Cooking AL MATTONE (cooking under a brick)

Cooking "al mattone" is an ancient way of cooking, usually poultry, weighed, skin side down, under a brick. Frescos, with what appears to be grilling a chicken being flattened by a stone,  have been found in Eutrescan tombs.Cooking this way gives a very crisp skin.

The procedure usually is for grilling but can be done, successfully, using a heavy pan.


Prepare a brick by covering with layers of heavy duty aluminium foil.

Butterfly a chicken by removing the back bone and flatten  (skin on thighs can be substituted for whiole chicken). Season to your preference and place, skin side down, on oil coated grill or in  heavy pan; cast iron, if possible.

Cook for 10 - 15 min, on skin side, with the brick placed on top. Turn over and continue to cook 10 - 15 min more or until juices run clear.