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Author Notes: One reason I love to cook is you never know everything. One of the reasons I like food52 is I am always picking up new and interesting tidbits. Garlic scapes for instance. I new I needed to pick them so that all the plants energy would be used for the bulb and not the flower. For years I would snap them off and smell them and always think, "my, oh my, these smell good I wonder if you can cook with them." I had not heard or seen that you could so I assumed they were to tough and would feed them to the chickens. In steps WinnieAb with her pickles with garlic scapes and I come to learn they are edible. Recently it seems I have been seeing a lot of recipes for brick chicken, there is a really good one right here at food52, in magazines, and even online at Saveur.com they have one from Marlow & Sons. All great recipes but I wanted to use my scapes and I just got back from having my flock of Cornish Game Hens processed. This is also one of the first dishes I cooked in culinary school but have not made it in years. You can see where this is going.... By the way the lemons become tender enough that we eat the rind and all, well minus the seeds. I removed the rib cage and the thigh bone but I am not sure it is necessary but I did use a lot of weight, like 22 lbs of weight. I haven't really experimented with less. This is by far my favorite lemon chicken. —thirschfeld
whole chickens, about 2.5 to 3 lbs each, backbone removed and cut in half
lemons, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
cup garlic scapes, minced or 4 garlic cloves minced
kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper
cups unsalted chicken stock
cup dry white wine
cup unsalted butter, chilled
tablespoons canola oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the chickens with salt and pepper.
- Place a large skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. When it shimmers carefully place the chicken, skin side down, into the oil. Place a another skillet, I used a pizza round on top of the chicken and then put your brick or weights on top.
- Adjust the heat to medium and let the chickens brown deeply. Remove the weights and turn and brown the other side. All in all the chicken should be in the pan about 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on an ovenproof tray. And place in the oven. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic scapes to the saute pan and wilt them. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Reduce the wine to a glaze and then add the stock and the lemons. Reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. Taste and season if necessary. Turn off the heat and add the butter and stir it into the sauce to combine.
- Remove the chickens from the oven. Place them on a platter and top with the lemons. Then pour the sauce over and serve.