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Chicken press

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efdee Dec 29, 2001 01:26 PM

We received an Italian, terra-cotta, stovetop chicken press for Christmas. The instructions are sketchy and not too helpful. Has anyone ever used one of these things? How DOES one cook a chicken on it? Or something other than a chicken, for that matter?

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  1. m
    MarkB Dec 29, 2001 03:46 PM

    Look for recipes called some variation of : chicken under a brick". Don't know where this came from, but it is a classic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MarkB
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      annieb Dec 29, 2001 07:38 PM

      It's a chicken, splayed in half with the backbone removed (remarkably easy to do) and then pan-fried or grilled. Crack the thigh joint too, so it lays flat. I don't know about the classic Italian recipe, but use your favorite marinade and grill away.

      A foil-wrapped brick works just fine. The point is to flatten out the meat so that it cooks evenly and stays moist. It is my favorite way to grill chicken.

    2. b
      Bob Brooks Dec 29, 2001 05:21 PM

      Might also help to look for the recipe under its Italian name, which is pollo al mattone. Hope I spelled it right!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Brooks
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        efdee Dec 29, 2001 10:10 PM

        Bob, thanks. A google search under pollo al mattone has turned up several similar -- but clearer -- recipes.

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        Olympia Jane Dec 29, 2001 09:26 PM

        Chicken Press? Hunh? Isn't that another name for yellow journalism?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Olympia Jane
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          Christopher Oliver Dec 30, 2001 04:42 PM

          I thought the chicken press was a weight lifting
          exercise using a gunny sack of live fowl in place
          of a barbell.

        2. j
          Jim H. Dec 29, 2001 09:41 PM

          Are you speaking of a hinged contraption consisting of two terra cotta paddles, slightly concave. You put the meat between them, put over the fire, and cook away. I think they are for any kind of meat, but what I've seen are too small for a whole chicken. I believe they were an old method of cooking steaks and things over a wood fire.

          1. g
            Gatun Dec 30, 2001 05:42 PM

            There is an excellant recipe in Patricia Wells Trattoria cookbook on page 218. She aslo gives a good half page of narritive on it.

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