Brick Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Weighing down the chicken with a skillet (our "brick" in this case) while you sear it ensures a crispy, golden skin. Then you sauté a mess of peppers with onion and garlic; mix in vinegar, sugar, and capers to great an agrodolce sauce; and combine it all with the browned bird, so the flavors meld as it finishes cooking in the oven.


  • 1 small chicken (about 3 ½ pounds), room temperature, halved and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ pounds mixed Italian frying peppers, sliced (about 7 cups total)

  • 1 small onion, sliced (1 ½ cups)

  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained

  • 2 sprigs rosemary (each about 4 inches)

  • Creamy polenta for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in center. Season all sides of chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium; add butter and 1 tablespoon oil.

  2. When butter melts and foam subsides, add chicken, skin-side down. Place a piece of foil on top of chicken and top with a second heavy skillet to weigh down. Cook, undisturbed, until skin forms a golden-brown crust, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove top skillet and foil. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin-side up.

  3. Discard fat in skillet. Return to medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers and onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned in places, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, vinegar, sugar, capers, and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then transfer to a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan or baking dish along with chicken, skin-side up, and any accumulated juices.

  4. Roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken reads 160°, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and loosely tent with foil. Return vegetables to oven; cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 10 minutes more. Season. Serve chicken with vegetables and polenta, spooning juices over top.

    brick chicken with vinegar peppers
    Marcus Nilsson

Cook's Notes

All kinds of peppers peak in late summer and fall, so grab any mix for this dish. Cubanelle, Jimmy Nardello, hot and sweet cherry—consider it chef’s choice. For a less spicy version, use a combination of sweet peppers.

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