I love the Italian “pollo al mattone” (which means “chicken cooked with a brick”), and although I am given to believe it is Italo-American rather than old-country authentic, I have been recently admonished and told it is in fact a dish that originates with the Etruscans. Hmm. Does it matter? It is a glorious creation: salty, lemony, and either fiercely peppery or afire with crushed red pepper flakes. The particular pollo al mattone I love dearly is the incredibly tender, melting-fleshed, super-lemony, and thyme-scented version served at Sfoglia, in New York. Inspired by a recent visit, I knew I had to make it my own, and this is what I’m now giving you. In a domestic oven, I feel this works best, with 2 Cornish hens rather than one chicken, which makes it not quite chicken under a brick, but you get the gist. This is not an instant recipe by any means, but it is a very simple one. It is certainly streamlined from the original, if that counts. And even if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t feel happy keeping it from you.