Pollo al mattone, is Italian for chicken under the brick. It refers to a method of grilling, where a brick is placed on top of a whole chicken while cooking. The weight of the brick makes the bird have complete contact with the heat. This allows it to cook evenly and get nice and golden brown. It’s said that this method originated in a little town outside Florence, where they’re known for terra cotta tiles.
Barbuto, my favorite restaurant in Manhattan, is known for their brick oven chicken that they serve with salsa verde. This is my take on their popular dish. My salsa verde is simply a sauce made from, extra virgin olive oil, capers, lemon zest and some chopped herbs, such as tarragon, basil and parsley. It’s that simple! Now that grilling season is upon us, go get yourself some clean bricks and grill away. It’s a must.