Cooking the chicken ‘al mattone’ is an ingenious way of cooking it under a brick or, in the modern kitchen, under a second cast iron pan or lid. Here, I’ve served it with a wonderful side dish of peppers and potatoes, although a fresh leafy salad would be great too.
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, plus extra leaves to serve
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Gewürzhaus Pyramid Flake Salt
Place the chicken in a large non-reactive container or bowl and add all of the ingredients. Rub the marinade into the chicken, ensuring it is well-coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours.
Bring the chicken out from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, by heating up the bottom tray and the weight that will sit on the chicken for 30 minutes, or until very hot. The weight can be a heavy cast iron lid, cast iron pan or a brick wrapped in aluminium foil.
Place the chicken, skin side up on the hot tray and flatten with the weight. Cook in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy. Remove the weight, allow to rest, then cut into eight pieces.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, capsicum, garlic, oregano and a pinch of salt and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the capsicums have softened. Stir often to avoid the vegetables burning. Add the red wine vinegar and stir through extra oregano. Serve alongside the roast chicken.