Chicken Under a Brick with Blackberry Chipotle Sauce

DSC06177This is a very unique, but an age old method  of grilling chicken, originally called “spatchcock” meaning to split open and grill. It’s very easy to do with strong kitchen shears, just remove the backbone and press flat, the chicken is then grilled with bricks on the top. This is the ultimate way to grill a super crispy, evenly cooked, whole chicken on the grill!  The presentation is really impressive! You can use any sauce you prefer, but this blackberry sauce is really special!

Serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs of olive oil
  • 2 Tbs of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
    Blackberry Sauce
  • 2 cups of blackberries, washed and dried
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 2 Tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbs of honey
  • 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper


Wash the chicken and pat dry. Place on a cutting board, cover the board with parchment for easy clean-up. Using strong, sturdy, kitchen shears, cut along the side of the backbone all the way to the end, then cut down the other side of the backbone and just remove it. ( you can also have your butcher do it!)DSC06135 DSC06137
DSC06143Flip the chicken over, place your hands on the chicken and press down hard to flatten, you’ll hear a crack. Loosen the skin with your fingers and rub some olive oil under the skin and all over the bird. Stir together the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and sprinkle it on both sides, set aside.DSC06148

To make the sauce, just add all sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan over low heat, cook for about 18 minutes, until it starts to thicken.DSC06120Let cool slightly and pour it in a food processor or blender. Mix until very smooth.DSC06128DSC06129Now, it’s time to grill the chicken:  Prepare your grill for indirect heat, so bank the coals on one side. Cover 2 bricks with foil. Place the chicken on the side without coals, place the bricks on top and grill for 20 minutes, with the lid on. DSC06154Then with oven mitt on, remove the bricks, use 2 spatulas and flip the chicken over.DSC06157Put the bricks back on and grill for 20 more minutes, lid on. Then remove the bricks, brush with the sauce and grill for 8 minutes, flip it over, brush with more sauce and grill for 8 more minutes, if the fire flares too much, put the lid on just long enough to calm it down.DSC06169DSC06174That’s it, remove the chicken from the grill, cut off the wings, thighs and legs, they come off easily and serve with any remaining sauce. You did it!
Note to cooks:  If you don’t have bricks, you can use a very heavy skillet



  1. Leave a Reply

    Jay Hill
    August 19, 2016

    Sounds terrific Ruth! Thank you so. much!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Big Al
    August 20, 2016

    Love this technique and sauce, definitely trying this. Thanks for sharing.

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