Chicken Under a Brick with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
- 4 lbs chicken (whole), backbone removed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- 1 whole shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsps fresh basil, finely chopped
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 Bricks wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil
For the Chicken
Prepare grill for high heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 or 2 burners off).
Place chicken on a cutting board, skin side up. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast. Rub chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
Tuck the wings slightly under breast. Place chicken, skin side down, over heat. Set bricks on top, and grill, covered, until skin is golden brown and crisp (about 25–30 minutes). Using tongs, remove the bricks; turn chicken, skin side up. Replace bricks and continue grilling until chicken is cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh reads 165°(25–30 minutes longer).
For the Vinaigrette
Cut half of the cherry tomatoes in half. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the halved and whole tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to release juices, 4–6 minutes. Mash some of tomatoes with a spoon.
Add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil; cook for 2 minutes & season with salt and pepper. Serve warm; add basil just before serving.
Wine Pairing- I love to pair sparkling wine with different dishes. Sparkling is one of the only wines that shows well against the acid in a vinaigrette. Once the tomatoes in this dish cook down with the shallot they will have a slight sweetness to them. Make sure your sparkling is either 'Extra Brut' or 'Brut' (winespeak for dryness level), take a bite of your chicken with the warm cherry tomato and follow it with a sip of your sparkling wine. Watch as firework bubbles explode with flavor across your palate.