Use one of four marinades with this Tuscan technique to produce a crispy exterior and juicy interior.
Prepare the chicken.
Unwrap 2 Cornish game hens (about 1½ pounds each) or 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds). Remove giblets from cavity; rinse and pat dry. Place on cutting board breast-side-up with open cavity facing you. Using poultry shears or kitchen scissors, cut through the entire length of the breast area. Flatten Cornish hens by pressing firmly down with both hands so it resembles one large flat section. Or ask the butcher to split and flatten the Cornish hens or chicken for you.
Mix all ingredients for selected marinade. Place Cornish hens or chicken in large, resealable plastic bag or glass baking dish. Add marinade; turn to coat Cornish hens or chicken evenly. Seal bag or cover dish. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight for best flavor. Turn Cornish hens or chicken occasionally in marinade.
Prepare bricks and grill.
One brick will be needed for each Cornish hen and 2 for the chicken. If necessary, rinse bricks before using. Wrap each brick in 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Ensure that grilling surface is clean and ready to use. If using nonstick cooking spray, apply only to a cold grilling surface.
Preheat grill 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low (target cooking temperature is 325 to 350 degrees). Remove Cornish hens or chicken from marinade. Place skin-side down on preheated grill. Carefully and quickly position bricks on top of Cornish hens or chicken; close lid. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill Cornish hens 20-25 minutes or chicken 40-50 minutes or until cooked through, turning halfway through cooking time. When turning, remove bricks using oven mitt, turn poultry and replace bricks.
Metal tongs work best for turning poultry. Avoid excessive charring and prevent flare-ups by maintaining cooking temperature at medium to mediumlow. Bricks are heavy and can be awkward when handling so use caution. Also, bricks become very hot while poultry cooks, so use heavy-duty oven mitts to remove bricks when turning poultry. Bricks may retain heat for an hour after removal from grill.
Marinades for Chicken Grilled Under a Brick.
Mix in small bowl until well-blended: 1 /3 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves (crushed), 1½ teaspoons basil leaves, 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
Mix in small bowl until well-blended: 1 /3 cup orange juice, 1 /3 cup soy sauce, 1 /3 cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons sesame seed, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon grated orange peel and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper.
Mix in small bowl until wellblended: ½ cup orange juice, 1 /3 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper.
Mix in small bowl until well-blended: 3 tablespoons lime juice, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano leaves, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper.