A.R. Valentien Recipe Feature: Chicken Under A Brick

From sourdough starters to inventive pantry recipes, the past year has been filled with experimenting with new dishes at home. If you're looking for something as delicious as it is fun, try this mouthwatering Chicken Under a Brick recipe from San Diego's original farm-to-table restaurant, A.R. Valentien.

Though most of the menu at A.R. Valentien changes with the seasons, one of the most tried and trued dishes is Chicken Under a Brick. As the name so accurately suggests, the half chicken is cooked underneath a brick which gives it a perfect combination of crispy on the outside while being juicy on the inside.

Executive Chef Kelli Crosson are known for their focus on letting quality ingredients shine in each dish. This entrée is no exception, and features chicken and cavolo nero, along with some flavor-enhancing ingredients that you likely already have at home. Much of this recipe encourages you to play with adding things "to taste" rather than exact measurements, letting you harness your inner chef. Have fun and bon appétit!

Chicken Under a Brick

Serves 2


  • 2 each | Half chickens, skin on, thigh de-boned and with only the first wing section left. 
  • 2 bunches | Cavolo nero (Or substitute any other type of braising green: Black Russian Kale or Dino) 
  • 1 clove | Garlic, sliced
  • Brick wrapped in foil

To Taste:

  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Butter
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for cooking the chicken)
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove tough stems from the cavolo nero or braising greens. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and set up a bowl with ice water. Cook the greens in the salted water for about a minute, remove them from the water and transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out excess water from the greens and set them aside.

Heat up a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the chicken. When the pan is hot add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil and place the chicken skin side down, cook until the skin turns golden. Weigh the chicken down by placing a sauté pan with the brick on it and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (time will vary depending on the oven and the size of the chicken).

Heat up another sauté pan and cook the sliced garlic with some olive oil being careful not to brown it. Add the cavolo nero and season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste. Cook gently until greens are hot.

When the chicken is ready remove it from the pan and pour off excess oil from the pan. Heat the pan the chicken was cooked in with a little butter and some lemon juice. Cook until the butter and juice becomes thick and emulsified. Add chopped parsley (this is the pan sauce for the chicken).

Place greens on the bottom of the plate, add chicken, and top off with pan sauce. Serve immediately.


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