These chickens from Lydia at the farmer’s market—yes, I finally found out her name—are freaking amazing. We have been getting one a week, and last weekend we found a magic combination of herbs and spices that just made the chicken sing. Not literally. That would be weird.
Last night we had a great opportunity to try the recipe out again, and on other people to see if it really was that good—both the flavor of the mix and the chicken itself. Both were given superb reviews.
To quote one of our guests: “I feel like this is the first time I’ve tasted chicken.” And it’s true. This chicken is the tastiest chicken we’ve ever put in our mouths. Ever. So get yourself to either the Laguna Beach farmer’s market on a Saturday morning or the Laguna Hills Mall farmer’s market on Friday morning/lunchtime and get one of these chickens. They only cost $14—I’d pay more for these actually, they are that good. And here’s what you should do with it:
Spicy Cilantro Garlic Chicken Under A Brick
1 whole chicken
1 bunch of cilantro
2 Fresno chilies, seeded
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t like spicy)
Grapeseed oil (about 1/2 cup)
First make the marinade. Peel all the garlic and pop into a mini food processor, or you can use your stick blender with a tall glass/cup. Throw in the roughly chopped Fresno chilies, cilantro, cayenne and oil. Process until smooth; use a little more oil if necessary. It should be the consistency of a malted milkshake. Add a bit of salt at this point and taste for seasoning.
Now butterfly the chicken. Do yourself a favor and watch this video that tells you how to cut up the whole thing. You’ll realize where to stop—before he starts cutting up the chicken into pieces. It’s super easy. Then get out a pan big enough to hold the chicken; I use a baking tray covered in parchment paper. Put the chicken skin-side down on the parchment paper and rub half of the marinade over the inside of the bird, then carefully flip it over and rub the rest over the skin side. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until you’re ready to grill it.
Heat up the grill and make sure it’s nice and oiled. Wrap two bricks in foil and keep at the ready. Put the chicken skin-side down on to the hot grill and place the bricks on top. Close the grill and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure to keep your eye on it though, as the marinade may cause some flare-ups. When the skin is nice and crispy, flip the bird over and cook for another 8-10 minutes on the other side. Take off the grill and let rest. If you’d like to measure the temperature instead of cutting into it to see if it’s cooked, make sure it’s at about 165 degrees F in there by the thigh.
Cut it up how you like; if you watch the video above, it will help you actually carve the chicken once it’s cooked. We served with wild rice and salad, but honestly, you don’t need anything but a few good napkins and something to wash it down.
I’ll be right back…I think there’s some leftovers from last night I hear calling to me from the fridge…