Rather than just a gimmick, laying a foil-wrapped brick on top of a butterflied chicken on a barbecue has many benefits. 






Skill level

Average: 1.6 (29 votes)

It keeps the chicken flat so it cooks evenly, as well as trapping in heat to allow it to cook faster. The result is a more tender and juicy barbecued bird. Instead of lemon myrtle, try this recipe with lemongrass, or for something a little more traditional, rosemary and lemon.


  • 1.6 kg chicken
  • 1 tbsp dried lemon myrtle
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
  • sea salt flakes, to season

 Yoghurt aïoli

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 10 minutes

Preheat a charcoal or gas barbecue to 150°C or an oven to 190°C. 

To butterfly the chicken, remove the backbone by cutting along either side with strong scissors or poultry shears, and press down on the breast to flatten the bird. 

Combine the lemon myrtle and olive oil in a bowl and season with salt. Rub the lemon myrtle marinade over and underneath the chicken skin. Season the chicken well with salt. 

Wrap a brick with foil, ensuring it is well covered. Place the chicken, breast-side down, onto the indirect heat of a hooded or kettle barbecue, or into a heatproof roasting pan set over high heat, drizzling over any excess marinade. Place the brick on top to flatten the chicken. If using a barbecue, cover with a lid. Cook the chicken, breast-side down, for 20 minutes or until golden. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 10 minutes or until cooked through. If using an oven, cook for 1 hour, breast-side up. Remove the chicken from the barbecue or oven and set aside for 10 minutes to rest. 

To make the yoghurt aïoli, place the garlic, salt and egg yolks into the bowl of a small food processor or, if using a stick blender, a tall jug or bowl. Mix until well combined and thickened slightly. In a slow, steady stream, pour in the oil, mixing constantly until the mixture is thick and emulsified. Stir through the yoghurt and transfer the aïoli to a bowl. 

Serve the chicken with the aïoli.