Each week on the Food Chain, we ask a chef to describe a dish he or she recently enjoyed. The chef who prepared the dish responds and then picks his or her own memorable meal. On and on it goes. Last week, Chicago chef Brian Huston found perfection in a fried-chicken sandwich at chef Aliza Miner's Los Angeles restaurant Canele. What dish do you love, Aliza?
"I always go to Marlow & Sons when I'm visiting New York for the half-chicken under a brick. The truth is that I'm always staying in the neighborhood and it's very convenient. But the other truth is that I would go out of my way to get there if necessary. The brick chicken is a classic, and they've truly perfected its simplicity. It's not crazy inventive; it's just delicious. Always cooked patiently to deliver the crispiest skin and juiciest meat. It's complemented with a big wedge of lemon and an always appropriate seasonal vegetable. It's completely satisfying."
Marlow & Sons chef Sean Rembold explains the dish's allure:
"The brick chicken is one of the few items on our menu that's a constant. It began its life in our restaurant when back in 2005 we were trying to develop a Marlow menu that would entice regular customers to come back in for a dish they could count on. I went home one evening and figured that dish needed to appeal to all palates and wrote down a list of as many chicken dishes as I could think of. Brick chicken is a classic recipe that Eric Lind taught me while we were working together at Osteria del Circo back in the day. It picks up awesomely on the few little induction burners we cook on during service. You can regulate the heat on the burners quite specifically to get the skin super crispy.
I do think anytime you prepare a million of any one item it's easy to get frustrated or bored with it. But there's a sense of pride that accompanies the plating of this dish and knowing you, as a cook, are hopefully knocking someone's socks off with a piece of chicken."