Chicken “Under a Brick” with Pan Jus
- Place the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone; remove and discard. Open up the bird slightly. At the top of the breast bone, you will see a small piece of white cartilage. Make a small vertical cut into the cartilage, about 1/2-inch long. Bend the chicken halves backward, and the breast bone will start to pop out. Finish removing the breast bone with a paring knife. The chicken should now be able to lie completely flat. Trim away any lumps of fat. Tuck the wings under so they don’t burn. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high flame. Add duck fat to pan, swirl to coat. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken skin-side down. All of the chicken skin should be in contact with the hot pan, allowing it to crisp up.
- Weigh the chicken down with a couple of bricks wrapped in foil. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Remove the weights and set aside, turn the bird over in the skillet, and transfer the skillet to the oven.
- Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat should register 160 degrees F. Let the chicken rest skin-side up for 10 minutes before carving.
- Deglaze the hot pan with chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce liquid by half. Whisk in Dijon; add thyme leaves and a squeeze of lemon. Add black truffle butter, stirring to combine. Taste for seasoning adding salt &/or pepper, if desired. Serve pan-jus with chicken.
Recipe Tips: Since the chicken has been pressed flat into an even layer, it cooks very quickly compared to a traditional roast chicken. This method is great for a weeknight. If your skillet is not large enough, you can cut your chicken in half and cook it in two batches. If you don’t have bricks, you can use a very heavy pot weighed down with a couple of large cans inside.