I was out of town for a few days in New England last week and had a chance to slow life down. While enjoying a lazy evening in front of the TV with family, I happened to catch Tyler Florence's show on the Food Network. He was making something called "brick chicken" which is a split chicken rubbed with lots of spices and seared in a pan with a covered brick on top.
If you're like me, you don't have a lot of random bricks laying around your house. And you might even think, "Why the hell am I going to trek over to Home Depot to buy a single brick for a single meal?" Those were my thoughts exactly. So for a substitute all it requires is that you cover your large cast iron pan with another cast iron pan (or again, improvise as needed) when searing the chicken.
This dish is fantastic. If you've already got a kitchen stocked with coriander, cumin and similar spices than all you need is a whole chicken, some couscous (and its necessary accompaniments) and a yogurt dressing. Totally delicious and really very easy.
This is even the sort of thing you could make after work. Just make sure you split your chicken the night before and rub it with the spices so it can marinate over night. Take it out of the fridge when you get home and then you've only got about 45 minutes of cooking everything from start to finish. Full recipe here. Enjoy!