8021 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
Ph: 314-862-COOK (2665)
Store Hours
Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sun 12 to 5 pm
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Ask The Chef

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“Where’s the microwave? This chicken isn’t done!” I went over to help the lady who presented me with a beautiful chicken thigh — tender and succulent meat oozing with juice. There was the faintest trace of pink at the bone. Sigh. So many people are so scared of the horrors of undercooked chicken that they insist on cooking it until it is dry and tasteless. Foodies who willingly order tuna sushi-style, rare beef, and pink pork persist in thinking that juicy chicken is not safe to eat.

Poultry does not have to be dry to be cooked. The juice from dark meat will always be darker than the juice from white meat, because the dark meat contains more fat.

“But the FDA says to cook chicken to 180 degrees!” And how many other times do agree with and follow federal government guidelines? Last I checked, no chefs or food tasters work at the FDA. At 180 degrees, that chicken will be so unappetizing that it can only be a vehicle for gobs of mayonnaise or ketchup.

I have eaten and lived to tell the tale: I cook chicken to 150 degrees, then let it rest for 10 minutes as it coasts up to 160 degrees. No more cooking, not even in a microwave! The chicken is fully cooked and is very juicy.

The purpose of the heavy weight in this recipe is so that the meat is all one thickness and will cook at the same rate. Otherwise, the thin part of the chicken will overcook before the fat end cooks.

Chicken Under a Brick

  • 1 chicken, backbone removed
  • Olive oil (a couple of tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Fresh garlic, minced

Toss the chicken with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic to taste and let sit for 15-30 minutes. On a medium-high grill, place the chicken skin-side down and weigh down with a cast iron pan or several bricks. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the cast iron, flip the chicken, and cook for 10 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then eat with the juice running down your chin!