Serves 4

4 chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)

for the marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Special equipment: 4 bricks, each wrapped in aluminum foil Oak chunks for building the fire, or 2 cups oak chips, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour, then drained

1. Trim any sinews or excess fat off the chicken breasts. Generously season the breasts on both sides with salt, cracked black pepper, and hot pepper flakes. Sprinkle the breasts with garlic and rosemary, patting them in with your fingers. Arrange the breasts in a baking dish. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over them and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes, turning several times.

2. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to high. In the best of all worlds, you'd build your fire with oak chunks. Alternatively, use gas or charcoal, plus soaked wood chips for smoke. 3. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the chicken breasts on the grate, all going the same way, at a 45 degree angle to the bars of the grate. Place a brick on top of each. Grill the breasts until cooked, 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning the breasts after 1-1/2 minutes to create an attractive cross-hatch of grill marks. I like to serve chicken under a brick on a bed of chopped arugula that's been lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort