Pollo al mattone is the Italian name for a chicken that’s pressed under bricks to speed up cooking and create a very crisp skin. Traditionally made in a cast-iron skillet, this version is hot off the grill. Either a whole butterflied chicken or chicken halves work beautifully. The zesty marinade makes the most of those later summer herbs that overrun the garden.


  1. Using heavy kitchen or poultry shears, remove the wing tips and backbone of chicken.* Open chicken up like a book; lay skin-side up in shallow pan.

  2. Place garlic, herbs, citrus zests and juices, oil, wine, salt, and pepper in blender container. Process until nearly smooth.

  3. Reserve 1/2 cup of the herbal marinade; set aside. Pour remaining marinade over the chicken, rubbing some of it under the skin. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  4. Heat grill to medium heat. Wrap two clean bricks in foil (or have a heavy cast-iron skillet available). Place chicken on grill skin-side down; weight it with the bricks. Cover and cook about 20 minutes. Remove bricks, turn chicken, and continue cooking 20 minutes longer or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (check the thigh near the bone). The meat should not be pink inside and all juices should run clear.

  5. To serve, stir cheese into reserved marinade. Cut chicken into pieces and serve with sauce.


This marinade can be used on any cut of chicken.

Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.


*You may wish to Save wing tips and backbone for making chicken broth or soup.