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Yum
Photo: Mark Bitterman
Plain and delicious, with crisp skin and juicy meat, the dish is a staple of Tuscan cooking. This recipe tosses the brick out the window and subs in a Himalayan salt block. The juicy results, after the jump.

One of our favorite books of the summer (along with these other 7) is Mark Bitterman's Salt Block Cooking. We've never been so excited to see a big pink slab of salt!

Pollo al mattone is more soulful and elegant than its name — chicken grilled under a brick (a mattone is a heavy tile) — would lead you to imagine. Plain and delicious, with crisp skin and juicy meat, the dish is a staple of Tuscan cooking. Chicken halves are weighted as they grill, which brings the skin of the bird more uniformly in contact with the fire. Dehydration crisps the surface, but the center remains moist. A simple switcheroo reinvents and improves upon the traditional recipe’s quiet genius. By replacing the brick with a block of salt, you add a new dimension of seasoning and even increase the crisping — a second Tuscan Renaissance.

Reprinted with permission from Salt Block Cooking