This is another recipe from Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie that I was inspired by while working on the elliptical! They used two cast iron skillets and cans for weight. Since storage is an issue in our NY apartment I've never invested in a second Cast Iron skillet--especially since I'd probably only ever use one at a time anyway! So I decided to finally go buy two bricks from Home Depot. Bonus: they only cost 65 cents each! A lot cheaper than another skillet!
Now wrapped in foil. I didn't have heavy duty so I double wrapped them to in case the foil ripped:
First you Spatchcock the chicken:
If you've never done this along with the description in the recipe this site Cookthink has beautiful step by step photos!
I used a combo of canola oil and butter in place of all butter.
Cooking the chicken this way was awesome, filled the apartment with a delicious aroma. There are many recipes for this process and many will have you start it on top of the stove and finish in the oven, which I do with lots of recipes, but I followed the recipe and cooked it on top of the stove the whole time. Didn't need to heat up the kitchen more than it was! Also listening to the crackling of the chicken was complimentary to the wonderful smells! I did cook my chicken a little longer based on my instant read thermometer checks.
The sauce is amazing! Nana, who isn't the biggest fan of Chicken on the bone devoured her portion including the wonderful crispy skin! Enjoy!
Chicken with Black Pepper-Maple Sauce
Recipe By :Paul Grimes and Ruth Cousineau
Serving Size : 4
1 whole chicken -- 3 1/2 lb
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup dark amber or Grade B maple syrup
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Special equipment:kitchen shears; 2 (10-inch) heavy skillets (one well-seasoned cast-iron or heavy nonstick); a 10-inch round of parchment paper; 5 to 6 lb of weights such as 3 (28-oz) cans of tomatoes
Cut out backbone from chicken with kitchen shears and discard. Pat chicken dry, then spread flat, skin side up, on a cutting board. Cut a 1/2-inch slit on each side of chicken in center of triangle of skin between thighs and breast (near drumstick), then tuck bottom knob of each drumstick through slit. Tuck wing tips under breast. Sprinkle chicken all over with salt and ground pepper.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in 10-inch cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides. Add chicken, skin side down, and arrange larger rosemary sprigs over chicken. Cover with parchment round and second skillet, then top with weights. Cook chicken until skin is browned, about 15 minutes. Remove and reserve weights, top skillet, parchment, and rosemary, then carefully loosen chicken from skillet with a spatula. Turn chicken over and re-place rosemary sprigs, then re-cover with parchment, skillet, and weights. Cook until chicken is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Make sauce while chicken cooks:
Toast peppercorns in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board and coarsely crush with a rolling pin. Return peppercorns to saucepan and bring to a simmer with syrup, 1/2 cup broth, and small rosemary sprig, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a platter and loosely cover with foil. Add vinegar to skillet and deglaze, boiling and scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in maple mixture and remaining 1/4 cup broth and boil until slightly syrupy, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and swirl in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce with salt and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Serve chicken with sauce.
"Diary of a Foodie: Season Three: Montreal: Cooking on the Wild Side"