Marlow & Son’s Brick Chicken

with greens

Last week was tough, which is why I didn’t post at all. I explained a bit here how my dog back home in Arizona, Tessa, is sick. I knew that I’d be taking a trip down to see her some time soon, but on Sunday afternoon, while we were at Kramer’s cousin’s soccer game, my mom called and said that she had taken a turn for the worse and that if I wanted to see her, I had better come soon. We booked a flight for that evening without any hesitation. For those of you who are not dog people, that may sound insane, but Tessa is my dog and I love her unconditionally – I would do anything for her, as would the rest of my family. Kramer wanted to fly out with me, but was unable, so it was just me headed home to see her. Over the next few days, she went back and forth. At times, she’d eat, then she’d reject food completely. She seemed like she was coming back one day, and the next, she would just lay on the ground, unwilling to move. There was a lot of crying between Sunday and Wednesday, when I left, but it seems, for now, that she is getting a bit better. She is on a lot of medication and despite being quite jaundiced, we are taking each day at a time and hoping for a full recovery. Tessa is such a good girl and the best dog anyone could ask for. I feel like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster; one minute I feel like I’ve come to terms with her situation, then the next, I am a complete wreck. The hardest part is that she is not even 10 years old yet, so I feel like she has more time, but she is quite skinny and isn’t exactly the same dog she was even when I saw her a little over a year ago during my last visit, so we’ll see, I suppose. I know that my parents are doing absolutely everything that they can to make her well again, and I am so grateful to my coworkers for being understanding when I said I had to go home. Kramer has of course been there with me every step of the way, even during the late night crying spells. I also appreciate all of the kind words everyone here has had to say regarding Tessa – I know a lot of you have been in the same position and it helps to hear everyone’s stories…it certainly makes me feel okay being a crazy dog person, because I have resigned myself to the fact that that’s what I am. One day things are easier, the next day they are harder, but we still have a long road ahead of us and being able to draw support from so many people has helped immensely.

I think Tessa would love this chicken, even if she hasn’t been feeling well. As my mom and dad can tell you, she gets offered some pretty choice meals now that she doesn’t eat as much as she used to. We even sliced up some lamb chops for her, which she actually ate some of, so nothing is off limits to her now, and I would gladly serve her up a bit plate of this in hopes that it would bring her appetite back. This brick chicken recipe comes from The New Brooklyn Cookbook; specifically, from Marlow & Sons, a Brooklyn restaurant that has been critically acclaimed since the day that it opened. The chicken is beautiful in its simplicity – just weigh the chicken down in some hot oil (or, in my case, bacon fat), cook until crisp, and finish with some fresh lemon juice. The skin becomes unbelievably crispy as it cooks, while the interior is still moist and flavorful. I served this up with some of my wild ramp pesto and a side of broccoli rabe, but as ramps aren’t quite in season anymore, a classic pesto would be just as good. This dish is for Tessa, and I hope that I get to come home again soon so that I can cook it at my mom and dad’s and give her a few nibbles off of my plate.

She hated her IV bandage and started ripping it off immediately after coming home from the vet.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenTessa is afraid of the camera, but I had to take a few shots of her.

Feeling a bit better, even with a shaved belly.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenThat is, indeed, bacon fat – use it if you so desire.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenMarlow & Son's Brick ChickenMarlow & Son's Brick ChickenHalf your chickens (your butcher/grocer can also do this for you), then rub them with salt and pepper. Heat your olive oil (or bacon fat) in a heavy cast-iron pan and place the chicken in.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenPlace a heavy bottomed pot on top and fill it with soup cans or bricks. Cook for 18-20 minutes, being sure that the chicken is weighted down well.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenRemove the pot and the weights, and flip the chicken.

Marlow & Son's Brick ChickenAdd the lemon juice and stock to the pan and finish for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat.

Marlow & Son's Brick Chicken
Serve alongside leafy greens, like this garlic and lemon broccoli rabe, or this wild ramp pesto.

Marlow & Son's Brick Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Try this Brooklyn classic from Marlow and Sons
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • one 3-4 pound chicken, halved, with the backbone, rib cage, and thigh bones removed (I just halved my chicken and kept the thigh bones in tact)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the canola oil (or use bacon fat, like me) in a heavy 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, then when the oil is smoking, add the chicken halves, skin side down. Place another heavy skillet, bottom side down, on top of the chicken, and place two bricks (or, if you for some reason find yourself without random bricks laying around your kitchen, soup cans or something similar will work) in the 2nd skillet to weigh it down as much as possible.
  2. Reduce the head to medium-high and cook the chicken until the skin is extra crispy and golden, about 18-20 minutes. Remove the weights and the top skillet, turn the chicken over with tongs, and pour off any extra fat.
  3. Add in the chicken stock and lemon juice, and cook the chicken over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads about 160 degrees F, about 3-4 minutes. Serve the chicken with the pan's juices and some sautéed vegetables or potatoes.

29 Responses

  1. Jane M says:

    I know exactly how you feel regarding your soooo cute dog as I am a MAJOR DOG LOVER myself. My dog is 15 and has sloooowed down, very gray, but oh so loving.

    On another note, that chickie looks delish! I will be trying the recipe out this week :).

  2. Tracy A. says:

    Hope that Marlow is on the mend. Last fall we needed to make a “quality of life” decision for our 18 year old cat – we got her when my son was in kindergarten. While it was absolutely the right decision – it was also terribly painful. I’m sending good thoughts Marlow’s way!

  3. Lindsey says:

    My fingers are crossed for Tessa. I know exactly how you feel, there is nothing worse than seeing a dog in pain. She has a loving family and is a fighter! This chicken is definitely worthy of her & her humans.

  4. Sarah says:

    I hope Tessa feels better soon. Just by looking at your pictures, I can tell she’s a beautiful dog. Best of luck.

    ps- the chicken looks so yummy!

  5. Mary says:

    Your blog made me tear up. I hope she improves, she is beautiful. And FYI, there are no crazy dog people! We are lucky enough to have the best friends in the world :)

  6. Corry says:

    Thinking of you and your family. I really hope she pulls through. I am a cat AND dog person. I had to say goodbye to my 20 year old cat last month and still wake up crying sometimes. It is heartbreaking when your pets are ill. They are part of the family. Im sending you some faraway love and thoughts from Brighton, England.

  7. Georgeanne says:

    I’m sorry this has been so hard for you! I’m thinking of you, Tessa, and your family–I’m glad to hear she’s been getting better! I hope she continues to improve!

    This chicken looks FANTASTIC. Bookmarking for future reference. Yum.

  8. Rachael says:

    I have been in this situation – just with a cat. I was visiting my dad in North Carolina when Mr. Destiny got sick and I had to come home prematurely to be with him until the end. =( I really hope Tessa gets better!

    On the flip side, this chicken looks not just amazingly delicious but crazy easy so I think I am going to give it a spin within the week. How much fat did you put into the pan? An inch or so?

  9. Laura L. says:

    Really hoping Tessa makes a full recovery. I am sure it made her feel better knowing you were at her side when she needs you most. Dogs are absolutely amazing and so are the people who truly care for them. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Dana says:

    It’s good to hear she’s feeling a little better, I’m sure getting a visit from you helped bolster her spirits. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  11. Megan says:

    :( I hope your pooch is feeling better. This chicken looks delicious, though. The side looks incredible too!!!


  12. Karen says:

    Tessa is a beautiful dog and she was very fortunate to come into such a loving family. I hope she makes a full recovery, but even though she may not have been able to spend as many years with your family as she should have, the quality of those years really counts. My heart goes out to you.

  13. Anthony says:

    The recipe looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try this. :)

    As for Tessa, my heart goes out to you. Watching a beloved pet suffer is a miserable, frustrating thing. I’m glad you went home to see her.

  14. Stacy says:

    I’m so sorry about what your sweet Tessa and your family are going through right now. It is so hard when your pet is sick. I will pray for swift healing for Tessa and strength and comfort for you and your family.

    Thanks for another great recipe as always.

  15. Casey says:

    When I didn’t see a new post last week I feared your beloved dog was in need! As a dog person I truly feel for your pain! Glad you got to go home and spend some time with her. Thinking of you.

  16. What a beautiful dog. And what beautiful chicken!
    I hope she gets better. Your dog, not the chicken. Awkward.

  17. Awwww I kind of teared up in this post. I hope Tessa is doing well. And I love that picture of her facing away from the camera. She looks so noble.

    On a different note, I’m loving this chicken. I have all the ingredients on hand (except for the chicken of course) so I will definitely be making this ASAP!

  18. Lynna says:

    Aww… i`m terribly sorry to hear about Tessa…

    this chicken on the otherhand looks delicious. :)

    anyways, hope you`ll feel better about this situation soon. ^^

  19. Molly says:

    Keep your chin up about your sweet baby. I know you feel helpless being far away and considering the fact that your pup can’t tell you what’s wrong or how to make it better. That’s the trouble with dogs – they haven’t quite figured out the whole talking bit. The best part is, she knows she is loved and nothing can top that! Not even lamb, chicken, or my pug’s favorite, tomatoes.

    Sending lots of good-wishes your way as you deal with this. Dogs are family members (usually the best ones out of the whole bunch) and when they hurt, we all hurt.

  20. Maria says:

    Whew, that post made me lose it for a sec. About 4 months ago we went through the same type of ordeal with my dog, Scout, who was also 10 years old. After a very emotionally draining month of ups and downs we finally had to let her go. She was like a sister to me so I completely understand what you’re going through. It’s nice to hear about other “crazy dog people” who care so deeply for their four legged friends. Tessa could not be in better hands. Sending my prayers your way for a full recovery.

  21. Robin says:

    Many prayers and hugs going out to you and Tessa!

  22. j says:

    Tessa is beautiful. No matter what happens, you have given her a lot of love and a wonderful life. :)

    (chicken looks good too!)


  23. libby says:

    Hoping Tessa is doing well and has more good years to spend with her family. It’s touching to see the love you have for her. I feel the same way about my Bella. They crawl into our hearts and they love us unconditionally and how can we not love them the same?

    I’m making this chicken as I write this and I’m wondering what I was supposed to do with the other 2 tbspns of oil? it says 4 divided but never mentions what to do with the other 2. I just left it out so hopefully it’s not key. lol, smells really good at the moment. Can’t wait to try it.

  24. libby says:

    I had to do a follow up…the chicken is amazing so where ever the other oil was going it didn’t hurt it. Amazing flavor and very moist. I’ll be adding this to my main rotation. One thing I added was some red pepper flakes. I like a little extra zing and it does add some extra flavor. Goes great with this dish. thank you for all the wonderful recipes. Since I’ve found this site it’s brought back the joy of cooking for me and gotten me out of my rut.

  25. […] still working on getting my spirits back up, to be honest. It’s hard, as I explained in my last post. I feel guilty for being so emotional about my dog. I know that it’s alright to be sad, but I […]

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