How to Make Chicken al Mattone (Under Bricked Chicken) Recipe – A Delicious Italian Dish

Do you want to impress your guests with a unique and tasty chicken dish? Look no further than Chicken al Mattone, also known as Under Bricked Chicken! This Italian recipe involves cooking a flattened chicken under brick or a heavy weight, resulting in crispy skin and juicy meat. In this article, we will go over the ingredients needed for this dish, how to prepare it step-by-step, some helpful tips and tricks for perfecting the recipe, serving suggestions, and answers to commonly asked questions. So put on your chef hat and let’s get started!

Chicken al Mattone (Under Bricked Chicken) Recipe

If you’re a food enthusiast, then you’ve probably heard of the Chicken al Mattone. This ancient Tuscan dish has been around for centuries and has delighted countless taste buds across the world.

Definition of Chicken al Mattone

Chicken al Mattone, also known as Under Bricked Chicken, is an Italian poultry dish that involves cooking chicken with a weight on top to flatten it and make sure that it cooks evenly. The term “al mattone” means “under the brick, ” which refers to the traditional method of using a heavy stone or ceramic tile to press down on the chicken while it’s being cooked.

History and Origin of the Dish

The origin of this dish can be traced back to Tuscany in Italy, specifically in Florence. According to legend, this dish was created by a group of hunters who were out in the woods preparing their meals over an open fire when they realized that they didn’t have anything heavy enough to keep their meat flat while cooking.

So they decided to use stones from nearby riverbanks instead. After realizing how delicious their new creation tasted, they started cooking chicken using this method more frequently.

Why It’s Called “Under Bricked Chicken”

The name “Under Bricked Chicken” comes from the traditional way this recipe was prepared – by placing bricks or other heavy objects onto the cooking chicken until it became flattened and cooked evenly throughout.

  • To prepare this recipe at home here are some key ingredients:
    • Whole chicken
    • Olive oil
    • Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme
    • Salt and black pepper
  • Instructions:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2. Clean chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel. Rub olive oil over the chicken.
    3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, herbs or spices as desired.
    4. Place the chicken breast-side-down on a greased skillet or baking dish. Add some weight on top of the chicken (use bricks, heavy cans, cast-iron pan or another oven-safe heavy object). “Make sure to use gloves if you handle hot items. “

This method results in succulent and evenly cooked Chicken al Mattone which is crispy outside and damp inside meat.

In conclusion, Chicken al Mattone dish is an ancient Tuscan recipe that has a history dating back centuries. The unique method utilized in cooking this recipe involves placing weight on top of flattened and seasoned whole chicken before roasting. Try preparing Chicken al Mattone at home for your next culinary adventure.


List of ingredients needed for the recipe

Before starting a recipe, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients. Here are some examples:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Where to purchase ingredients

The availability of certain ingredients may vary depending on location. However, most supermarkets carry commonly used items such as flour, sugar, and butter.

If you’re looking for more specialized items or fresh produce, consider visiting local farmers’ markets or specialty stores in your area.

Substitution options

In case you’re missing any ingredient or have dietary restrictions, here are some substitution options:

    Dairy substitutes:
    – Milk can be replaced with almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk.
    – Butter can be replaced with coconut oil.
    Sugar substitutes:
    – Honey can replace granulated sugar in most recipes (use about half as much honey as you would sugar).
    – Maple syrup is another good option.
    Egg substitutes:
    – Applesauce is a great substitute for eggs in vegan recipes. /
    – Bananas make good egg replacers too.


Preparing the chicken

To begin making al Mattone recipe, the first thing to do is to prep your chicken. Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Use a set of kitchen shears to remove any visible fat or skin flaps and trim away excess parts that might burn on the grill. To flatten the chicken for this recipe, you will need to butterfly it by cutting along its backbone with a sharp knife.

Preparing the marinade

A flavorful marinade can make or break your grilled dishes. For this recipe, we recommend making an herb-based marinade using rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Combine all these ingredients in a bowl with olive oil and mix them well until they form a paste-like consistency.

Marinating the chicken

Pour your prepared marinade into a large Ziploc bag then toss in your prepped chicken and seal it tightly. Massage the bag gently ensuring that every portion of your chicken is coated with marinade as evenly as possible so that all sides are seasoned equally – this will help create more balanced flavors when cooked on grill later.

Setting up the grill

  • Clean: Make sure that grates are cleaned properly before starting
  • Fuel: Choose high-quality charcoal briquettes or hardwood lump charcoal
  • Heat distribution: Arrange lit charcoals on one side of cooking area creating two distinct zones for direct/indirect heat cooking tasks
  • Baking stone preparation: Preheat baking stone over indirect heat zone after properly arranging charcoal briquettes

Cooking the chicken al Mattone (Under Bricked Chicken) Recipe

This unique cooking technique is called Al Mattone or “under brick. ” The method involves placing a weight (in this case, bricks wrapped in foil) onto the flattened chicken while it’s being grilled. This weight flattens out the chicken further and compresses it to deliver even more consistent heat across its entire surface area as it cooks. To cook your prepped-and-marinated-chicken al mattone style:

  1. Grill the chicken skin-side down over direct heat until browned – should take around 5 minutes.
  2. Carefully flip over and then continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes skin side up.
  3. Now remove from direct heat and place a preheated baking stone over indirect heat zone with hot charcoal briquettes arranged on one side of grilling area.
  4. Place your flattened and marinated chicken onto heated baking stone skin side up, add Aluminum-wrapped-brick press quickly on top of your seasoned bird
  5. Cook for around 12-15 minutes ensuring that you monitor internal temperature of meat to ensure safe consumption– once cooked, take off grill using tongs carefully avoiding any burns due to high temperatures.

By following these steps you will have perfectly-grilled al Mattone recipe chicken – juicy and packed with flavor!

Tips and Tricks

If you’re looking to make a delicious Chicken al Mattone (Under Bricked Chicken) Recipe, here are some tips and tricks that will help you achieve the perfect outcome:

Tips for a Perfect Recipe

  • Start by choosing high-quality ingredients. This includes fresh chicken, herbs, spices, and olive oil.
  • Preheat your grill or oven before cooking the chicken to ensure even heat distribution.
  • Pound your chicken before cooking it under the brick. By doing so, you’ll get an evenly cooked piece of meat with a crispier skin.
  • Use fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme when seasoning your chicken for added flavor.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid placing the brick directly on top of the skin side of the chicken. Doing so will prevent air from circulating around all parts of the chicken causing unevenly cooked meat.
  • Don’t use too much salt in your seasoning rub. This can dry out the meat and affect its tenderness and juiciness.
  • Avoid overcooking your chicken as this will result in dry and chewy meat. Use a food thermometer to check internal temperature at 165 F/75 C after about 25-30 minutes on indirect heat source(moved away from direct flame)

How to Get Skin Crispy?

The skin is an important part of a good Chicken al Mattone recipe as it provides texture and flavor contrast against juicy meat underneath. Here’s how to get it crispy:

  • Rub olive oil over skin before adding seasonings this helps draw fat out while crisping up the skin
  • When cooking your chicken under the brick, start by searing the skin side of the chicken to create a beautiful golden crust with crispy texture. Then lightly oil and season that side again before putting weight on top of it.

How to Get Meat Juicy and Tender?

By following these steps you’ll ensure the perfect juicy and tender meat:

  • Cook your chicken under indirect heat source, never over direct flame for even cooking without charring or burning.
  • Brick pressing keeps the juices in while cooking to tenderize through ribs. Turn Chicken halfway through after about 25-30 minutes in order to cook inside evenly on both sides as well as not stick to the grill.
  • Rest your cooked chicken for 5-8 minutes tented with foil which allows juices settle properly before slicing and serving

Serving Suggestions

How to serve the Chicken al Mattone (Under Bricked Chicken) Recipe

The Chicken al Mattone is a classic Tuscan dish that requires minimal fuss and preparation. It’s an easy and delicious way to cook chicken, and it makes for a great meal any time of the year.

To serve the Chicken al Mattone, start by removing it from the grill or oven. You’ll want to give it a few minutes to rest before carving it up. Then, slice the chicken into portions along with some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme.

What side dishes to serve with the dish

  • Grilled Vegetables: The smoky charred flavors of grilled zucchini, red peppers, and onions pair perfectly with this rustic chicken dish.
  • Pasta Salad: A refreshing pasta salad made with cherry tomatoes, arugula leaves, olives tossed in a lemon vinaigrette brightens up your meal.
  • Crispy Toasted bread: Serve sliced toasted bread on top of crushed garlic oil alongside juicy parts of roasted chicken to enjoy explosion of flavors.

Wine pairing options

This Italian-inspired recipe goes well with medium-bodied Tuscan Red wines such as Chianti Classicos or Montepulcianos which compliments its peppery note served at room temperature.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Feel free try out different food combinations (and wine parings) — who knows what other tasty culinary discoveries you might make!


In conclusion, Chicken al Mattone is an easy but impressive dish that is perfect for any occasion. By following our guide on the ingredients, preparation steps, tips and tricks for the best results, serving suggestions that will elevate its presentation you’ll have yourself a delicious feast in no time! So give it a try at home today.


What kind of spices can I use to season the chicken?

You can use any combination of spices that you like! Popular options include rosemary, thyme, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic.

How long should I cook the chicken for?

It depends on the size of your chicken. Generally speaking though you’ll need around 20-30 minutes per side until it’s cooked through.

Can I substitute bricks with something else?

Yes! You can replace them with a cast iron skillet or another heavy object (like cans) that is safe to place in the oven. Just make sure they are weighed enough so they don’t move while cooking.

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