Asian-Style Orange Chicken Roasted Under a Brick

Serves 4
This chicken is flavored by citrus, soy sauce, ponzu (a tangy Japanese sauce), garlic, and scallions -- all popular Asian ingredients. After the backbone is removed, the chicken marinates and is cooked flat under a brick to yield moist meat and crisp skin.


  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lime
  • 2 scallions, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ponzu or rice-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) or honey
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Place a large resealable plastic bag in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest from 1 orange and the lime; transfer zest to bag.
  2. Juice zested orange and lime into bag. Add scallions, garlic, soy sauce, ponzu, and mirin. Seal; shake to mix marinade.
  3. Using poultry shears, cut along sides of chicken backbone; remove. Add chicken to bag; seal. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 2 hours or up to 12.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a roasting pan 10 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Brush chicken breast with vegetable oil. Flatten chicken, and place it, breast side down, in skillet. Roast chicken about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove skillet from oven. Pour a small amount of water into skillet; swirl to help loosen skin from bottom, if needed. Turn chicken over. Baste with pan juices; roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, juices run clear, and skin is crisp, about 5-10 minutes more.
  6. Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Just before carving chicken, squeeze juice from remaining orange over it. Carve chicken into at least 6 pieces, cut breasts in half.
cook's note

If you don't have a brick, you can use a heavy ovenproof skillet wrapped in foil instead. If using a brick, wash and dry it, then wrap it in foil before placing on top of the chicken.
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