H a p p y A p r i l !

H A P P Y   A P R I L !

 Happy Sunday too!  And my favorite spring time song!!  Did you all remember to turn over your calendar pages?  Rabbit-rabbit never made more sense than today!  I know not all of you got the calendar this year since we ran out of them — which, btw, is being fixed this year — some of the new 2013 calendars, including the 12 x 12 wall calendar (but not the blotter), are coming in early — by the end of May.  I’ll be gone, off to England, and you’ll all be with me, so don’t forget, if you want one — we realized that when everyone orders in November we don’t have a chance to reorder when we run out, so we hope this will make a difference.

And now, due to popular request but mostly just to prove that occasionally we do eat something other than cupcakes or tea cakes . . . I give you Joe’s recipe for


Most likely, the manly piece of kitchen equipment needed for this cooking project won’t be in your kitchen drawer!  So put “one brick” on your shopping list!  Or head out to the garage to begin the search!

This lemony, herby, butterflied chicken dish is as delicious cold as it is hot; we often pack it up for the beach or a picnic in the summertime.

You can make it the day before you want to serve it, let it marinate in the overnight in the fridge, or cook it immediately, whichever is easiest for you.

You know as soon as you get out a brick and busy yourself around the kitchen, most likely your kitty will come lay down in the center of the action.  Take a moment to kiss him, even if he has a look on his face that says, “If I don’t have eye contact with her, maybe she’ll let me stay.”  Look at the way he bends and tucks his paws.  One of my favorite things.

This is why kitties are so cozy at all times.  But I digress.

Get down kitty.  

Out comes the soapy hot water to wipe down the counter before we begin (for anyone that fears kitty on counter).

So after you raid the garage or the garden, you brush off your brick, but don’t wash it, you don’t want it to be wet; wrap it twice in aluminum foil.   I just remembered, I have a video of Joe making this last summer, here you go, don’t blink or you will miss it!  I think when you can hear it, you can almost smell it!


If you ever, by the way, want to see some of my other very short videos, you can go to my Youtube Channel and see them; I know someone was asking for a video of my house, and there are a few there.

 OK, so anyway, after you get your brick wrapped, preheat the oven (if you plan to cook the chicken right away).

This photo ought to sear it into your memory!  I do love these big photos! 🙂  So, in case you didn’t notice, you should set the temp for 400°.

First make the Garlic Lemon Sauce.  I’ll put the condensed recipe at the end of all this, easy for you to print out.  But here’s the How-To:

You will need fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, and fresh lemon thyme leaves (other herbs that would work would be sage, savory or rosemary).  The thyme was growing in our garden; be sure to plant this amazing herb this summer, put it in everything; it’s just delicious in salads too!  I also love to mix the purple flowers into creamy vanilla ice cream, yum!  (Write that on your calendar for July!)

 Save some thyme leaves to sprinkle over the chicken just before serving.  So lemony fragrant!

Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Now for the chicken:

Prepare yourself, there is a horror-show aspect to this back-bone removing method that reminds me somewhat of feeding time in the Eagle Nest in Decorah, Iowa.  (If you’ve been watching it, you’ll know what I mean!)  I took the photos as daintily as I could. The plan is to remove the backbone; you start by putting the chicken on his head on a cutting board, as shown, and get a grip on his tail.

With a sharp knife, carefully cut all the way through, close to each side of the backbone down to the bottom.

 And remove it.

Save that beautiful backbone for chicken stock.  Now you have a butterflied chicken.  Easy huh?

Bend it open as hard as you can.

Use the heel of your hand to push and flatten as much as possible.

Until it looks like this.  Joe split the breast bone a little bit, can you see that?  Cut off any bits of excess fat; rinse the chicken well; dry it well with paper towels (so that it will cook evenly); put it into a roasting pan or baking dish and . . .

. . . gently rub the garlic-lemon-oil mixture over both sides of the chicken and under the skin.  At this point, if you like, you can cover and refrigerate the chicken for an hour, or overnight, turning occasionally.

When ready to cook, add another tablespoon of olive oil to a heavy oven-proof skillet.  Regulate the heat so it’s hot and sizzling.

Put the chicken, skin side down, into the hot oil; adjust the heat to medium-high.

Pour all the extra sauce on top of it.  Salt and pepper it, and cook until the chicken is golden brown; don’t turn it or move it for five minutes; then check it and make sure it’s golden brown.

 Now pull out your fancy new kitchen equipment and lay it over the thickest part of the chicken.

And into the oven she goes.

Roast it for twenty-five minutes; remove the pan from the oven; set the hot brick aside.  See that pan back there?  Joe put the brick in there.

Turn the chicken over, remembering that everything is hot, so be careful.

Replace the brick, again over the thickest part of the chicken, and put it all back into the oven to cook for another ten minutes.

And that’s it.  Cool, cover, and chill; or cut it into pieces and serve.

Sprinkle it with the additional lemon thyme, mmmm so so so so good!

Tender, juicy, lemony, and delicious.  Thank you Joe!  Take a bow my man! 

That’s it for today girls, but because it’s April First, and a beautiful spring day on Martha’s Vineyard, we need our moment of nature love . . .


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY ♥  Here’s that recipe!


  • 1 brick, double wrapped in aluminum foil
  • 1 2½ to 3½ lb. chicken, organic if you can do it
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 lg. garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon thyme leaves, minced and divided (or sage, savory, or rosemary)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. of the lemon thyme leaves and set aside.  If cooking immediately, preheat oven to 400°.

Rinse chicken in cold water, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.  Remove the backbone from the chicken: put the chicken upside down, standing on its neck, on a cutting board.  With a sharp knife, starting on one side of the tail, carefully cut cut down the back, close to the bone, all the way through.  Cut along the other side, remove the backbone and save it for chicken stock.

Place the chicken skin-side down on the cutting board; with both hands bend the chicken backwards to flatten; you can also crack the breast bone with your knife, then, using the heel of your hand, press to flatten as much as possible.  Remove any excess fat from the chicken, rinse and dry the bird well with paper towels and put it in a large roasting pan.

Pour the reserved garlic lemon sauce over the chicken; rub it all over and under the skin.  At this point you can cover it, put it in the fridge, and keep it overnight, turning it at least once).

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet until hot and sizzling.  Place the chicken, skin-side-down, in the skillet regulating the heat to medium-high.  Cook, without moving the chicken for about five minutes, check it and cook until golden brown.

Place the wrapped brick on top of the thickest part of the chicken and place the skillet in the oven.  Roast for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, use potholders to remove hot brick, set aside (Joe put it into another pan) while you carefully turn the chicken over.  Replace the brick, and put it all back in the oven for another ten min. until chicken is done.  Put a fork into the thickest part of the thigh meat, if the juice runs clear, it’s done.  Sprinkle it with the remaining lemon thyme leaves.  Serve immediately or cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Best hot or at room temperature.  Depending on size of chicken, this serves either two or four. 

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162 Responses to H a p p y A p r i l !

  1. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Jack is just as cute as can be and his paws tucked under says he is at home.
    I will cook a chicken in this mannor, as I could all most taste it. Lemon is my favorite. I have lemom mint at my back door growing for years now.
    Your flowers are beautiful and thanks for letting us see the bunny in your yard. Great!! Spring Moment……..

    • Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

      This is my last report on the mother eagle and her eaglets. Time 4:26 pm EST Monday afternoon. 4:05 pm she lifted off the nest and there were her three eaglets. She fed them and I can see she is thinking where is her mate as at times she throws her head back and called out. Two of the eaglets keep her busy as they keepp popping out from under her. This time she simpely pulled more nest matter up to and around them to keep to them warm. One is still under her. That one seems to be smaller then the other two. This has been a wonderful experience for me to be able to view them. Know they are well and doing just fine. This cam is current(live) from the nest.

  2. Country Gal says:

    Fantastic post and photos ! YUMMY that looks soo good I can smell it through the blog . Looking forward to going to England with you WOOOHOO ! It has been years since I went there ! Yup Papa here got me for April fools, guess I am the fool for today lol, See ya here soon from England ! Have a great day !

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Jack…..Wow……a man of few words today……no April Fools day poetry or jokes ??? Not even a…….
      Q- why didn’t the chicken cross the road?
      A- because he was under a brick ! LOL
      We need more than Yum! ROFL

  3. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan, That does look good. Where is my brick. Sure there must be one around here, don’t want to take the fireplace apart. BUT if I have to, I have to.
    Jack is growing up really fast, gotta love those paws.
    Oh forgot to tell you I’m reading a book, its an old one 1907. Called “cape cod stories”.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hi Susan, happy April to you too! Next weekend Easter, it’s amazing how the the months fly by! Love to try your recipe for the lemon chicken, it looks yummy indeed! Just got back from the store and in my bags were lemons, garlic, and chicken, amazing! Now I just need to go searching for a nice heavy brick, I know my hubby must have one around somewhere. Monsieur Jack looks quite interested in what your doing, they just love to be around checking everything out, so cute! Always look forward to hearing from you, have a wonderful day! -East Longmeadow, Ma.

  5. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    P.S. I went on the eagle sight and there is the eagle with two chicks!!! WOW!!

    • Alice in Wisconsin-land says:

      Keep watching … you’ll see that there are actually THREE eaglets.

      • Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

        Thanks, Alice! I was worried that something had already happened to one of the eaglets…..Since you cleared that up I won’t have to run and check the site right now.

      • Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

        Yep! your right. Later that day I looked and there were (3)..SOOO Cute!!

  6. Linda Pintarell says:

    Yummie, Miz Susan! I LOVE lemon chicken, cute kitties, beautiful flowers and lovely April days! YES, every day should be earth appreciation day! Have a great day!

  7. Susan Simon says:

    Hello everyone!
    Susan, that chicken looks just spectacular and delicious… may make it for dinner later this week; I have regular thyme growing in my Aero-garden in the kitchen… hopefully that will do all right! Thanks for the luscious looking dish… and the beautiful, gorgeous shots of Jack. He looks so cozy… all tucked up and ready to snooze.

    The beautiful garden shots of the yellow and purple pansies (at least that’s what I think they are?) made me smile. It’s a grey day here, so that shot of sunshine was most welcome!

    Have a great day, everyone!

    • Susan Simon says:

      I forgot to share that we have a pair of ducks who have returned to our backyard several days ago. They come every year; I think it is the same pair, but who knows for sure. They drive our dogs crazy… but it makes me grin to see them… not sure why they have picked our yard, but it’s such a treat to see them! (We live in the middle of suburbia, with no ponds too close to our house, so… guess they like the look of our yard!)

      • sbranch says:

        That’s so fun!

      • Janet says:

        We have a pair of Canadian geese that have come back to our yard every year for about 10 years now – I don’t know for sure but am choosing to believe they are the same “couple.” It’s so interesting to watch them. Every year, the female wanders around pecking and sniffing at the ground and eating – or occasionally she sits down to rest/sleep in different spots. The male does nothing but follow along about 5-6 feet behind her… just watching. I’ve NEVER ONCE seen him eat or take a drink or anything. He just follows around at a respectful distance and keeps his eyes peeled – for – danger. If he had a suit and dark glasses he could be a Secret Service agent. Most [not all] years they’ve had babies – and he’s extra diligent then following around the whole crew as the babies wobble around behind their mom, eating, going in the pond for swimming lessons and baths etc. I’m sure if you were a goose you would consider this fellow EXTREMELY forbidding. Lots of fun to watch them though…

  8. Gladys Taber’s cats were always around her oven when she was cooking:)

  9. Donna Ray says:

    Hi Susan,
    Oh the chicken looks so good! What is it about a man in the kitchen? No need for me to go searching for a brick…..already have a foil covered one….it’s my panini maker!
    We have daffydowndillies now on the shore of Lake Ontario here in Upstate NY and even a few brave forsythia blossoms despite the shower of grapple today as I walked along the shore picking up beach glass and found a terrific heart shaped rock! Happy April back at ‘cha, Susan, and I just love your words about our Mother Earth. As always, DonnaRay

  10. Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

    Oh, that chicken DOES look yummy. Somehow, tho, when you called it “flattened” chicken and it involved a brick and a man, I expected some serious “smacking” action to be going on! 🙂

    Bunnies and Spring flowers…..lovely! The one you painted in the Earth Day poem is really cute and lifelike…very Beatrixish! Nice to see handsome Jack get in on the action, too! Happy April….such a cheery month!! xoxo…kp

  11. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Afternoon~
    I don’t know why but the picture of the upside down chicken struck me as funny~ then I remembered it was April Fool’s Day!
    Last year I was VERY naughty! My daughter~ in~ law wanted to play a trick on my son.
    I~being the naughty girl that I am~came up with the idea of sabotaging his Oreos.
    We took the tops off a few of them and filled them with toothpaste. We then left them within eyesight.
    My son came home ~ spotted them ~ grabbed an Oreo and popped it~ the whole thing~into his mouth!
    He yelled to my daughter~in~ law ” What the BLANK is wrong with these Oreos?!”
    ” Nothing~ April’s Fool’s!!” she laughs back.
    I am behaving this year but next year…………
    P.S. The chicken looks delicious..we will try….no joke!!
    Happy April Fool’s Day and have a good day!!!

  12. Jacquelyn Wirthlin ... Las Vegas, NV says:

    Wow! What a fantastic post. Beautiful artwork and beautiful chicken. I am a big fan of butterflied or boned anything. Youngest son boned a turkey and then stuffed it with stuffing to resemble a regular turkey for Thanksgiving. Roasted it in the oven. Delicious. Pretty much fooled us all … lol Jack must be a fan of chicken too as he is sticking pretty close to the festivities. Might be a stray kiss or some stray chicken around. Love him. Thanks Sue and Joe. Going to go hunting for my brick in the garage. Have a great day everyone.

  13. Jacki says:

    Hiya Susan…I’m back with a Spring poem 4 ya 🙂 Loved your HAPPY APRIL entry…made my day 🙂 and mouth water 😛


    What a sensation
    When the remnants of Winter finally take a vacation
    And the flowers resume once again
    To BBQ
    Sit out more often
    It’s true
    Being inspired with the sunrises and sunsets
    And the stars and moon
    Having perhaps lunch outside or tea
    During a refreshing Spring afternoon
    Plant that garden
    Listen to the birds sing their song
    Maybe allergies begin not so neat
    Behold the beauty of the new season has to offer
    How sweet, it’s a treat
    So, I say without hesitation
    In anticpation
    Of April’s Appreciation…

  14. Mary Spring says:

    Dear Susan and Joe.. Happy April to both of you as well !!!!!! Thanks again…for all you do !! ..The chicken looks so yummy (after being cooked) and of course Jack is so very precious !! and ..oh..the flowers!!!!!!!!

  15. Susan L says:

    April is my birth month, so let the celebrating begin! Love the receipe for brick chicken and can not wait to try it 🙂 And so glad it was in the oven and not on the grill! I have not turned over my wall calendar yet, but my blotter calendar got turned. I do love your calendars. Thank you for the heads up for May!
    Thank you!!!!!
    Susan M

  16. Rita May says:

    Well I’m glad I have just come from the store with a whole chicken. I’ll make it
    this way tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your April day.

  17. Pam G. says:

    The chicken looks yummy but also a cooking job for my hubby Roger-I will have to gift him a brick! Love the pansies-one of my favorite flowers.

  18. Judy Dow says:

    …and he cooks, too!! Looks great. I’ll try it when my herbs start to grow again. Tomorrow is kitchen garden fence painting day for Lucy n Ethel. We will be thinking of you! By the way…I have my grandmothers English teacup collection. It sits unused in a curio in my living room. Cathy aka Ethel and I plan to read your England blogs together and have tea out of a different cup each time while we enjoy our tour with you. Crazy that I haven’t used them before. Thanks for the motivation .

    • sbranch says:

      You two are so cute!

      • judy dow says:

        ‘Twas supposed to be 70 degrees today, instead it was in the high 40s all day. No painting! But we got out leftovers in the fridge, another friend joined us and we had lunch. Girlfriends, food and laughing beat painting a fence any day.

  19. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Does that chicken ever sound good. I almost thought I had smell-a-net. I bet that chicken would make wonderful “wraps” as well by just adding some roasted peppers.

  20. Diane Byrum says:

    It looks yummy, Susan., and does Joe serve something special with the lemon chicken? Thank you for the lovely flowers too. Would you consider a photo walking tour of how spring has sprung on the Vineyard? I so miss the seasons. I will also turn the calendar page on your calendar when I get into work tomorrow morning. Thanks for the double delight! Waiting for the spring photo tour 🙂

  21. stephanie says:

    Nothing better than a roast chicken on a Sunday! Tell Joe thanks for the great recipe – I’m going to do it next weekend. It looks delish.

    Jack is so cute. His face looks like he always did something naughty (like unraveling yarn!) but is putting on his best “what me?” innocent expression. He is perfection really. I hope we get a video of when he’s finally allowed outside. So cute.

  22. Heartsdesire says:

    Happy April, Susan. We love chicken at our house and what a great recipe Joe has provided. Now, if I can just find a brick, we’ll also be able to enjoy this wonderful recipe. I have regular thyme in the garden, but definitely intend to put in some lemon thyme. It has such a great aroma. And a few other herbs as well. The weather here on Vancouver Island is still quite cool and rainy, so will have to wait a few weeks, I think. But I am getting impatient. What a cute bunny you have in your garden, I bet Jack would love to play with it. He looks so cute and cozy with his paws tucked under him.

  23. Marianne from Peoria IL says:

    Perfect recipe for spring! Love it!!

  24. Deb from Dixie says:

    Jack and those green eyes…..what a heart stealer ♥ ♥ ♥ and the paws, just too cute!
    It is a beautiful Spring day in the South….just got the patio all cleaned and set up, next project planting flowers. Tonight it’s time to sit outside and enjoy nature…so beautiful!
    Thanks to Joe for the chicken recipe. I have one brick I saved when the house was built. It is my “brick” souvenir…..which will now become my chicken brick.
    I have never used lemon thyme, so not sure what that tastes like, but I am going to try it, the chicken looks delicious.
    Happy April to all!

  25. Wendy Louise says:

    Happy April too ! Thanks for the yummy recipe, I have the brick now I have to go get the chicken. Just came in the house from lots of work around the house. I love working along side my wonderful man. We transplanted a tree, put up new siding on the porch, prepared more of my kitchen garden for the fence to be put up. A great way to start the month with good hard work outside in the sunshine ! And to find this most wonderful, beautiful blog in the whole, wide , World !!!!!!! We are so blessed to have you Susan Branch !!!!!!! Can’t wait to have those flowers in the garden! OOXX

  26. Pom Pom says:

    Wow! I am SO glad I got my calendar this year (and my two other little SB calendar-y things!)
    Well, Jack is getting big! He IS a cute little curly pawed boy!
    I bought some lemon thyme today – so sweet in a little pot!
    Happy April to you!

  27. judi says:

    Lovely and delish post. That Jack is the cutest everything (and I have had MANY wonderful pets). Need to get to Lowes and get a brick 🙂 love lemon and chicken and appreciate your step-by-step pictures. My fav spring poem – If Spring came but once in a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts, to behold the miraculous change. Longfellow Happy April!

  28. Kimi says:

    Happy First Day OF April! and Happy Palm Sunday Susan & Joe.

    I just turn over my Calendar to April and have the very picture you have at the top of your blog I must say I love the yellow border! Jack is so sweet Susan But he doesn’t know that counters are not for kitties! sooooo innocent. I will try your Chicken dinner and will have to go out back and find a brick I know I have one out there! Gods Blessing to you Susan xoxo

  29. Maryellen says:

    I do remember Joe making this chicken last year! What a wonderful idea for summer – make this delicious chicken in the morning and chill for a picnic dinner. I am counting the days until our trip to England – I am so excited!

  30. Martha Ellen says:

    Happy April Susan and all the Girlfriends! Today is a lovely day in Va and we’ve been working on taxes! Yuck! I had to take a break and go outside and enjoy! Pulled a few weeds out of the flower beds and put organic acid increaser on my hydrangeas. I want them to be that lovely blue.
    Jack has the sweetest poses for you Susan. Love the turned in paws. He makes me want a kitty so bad. We travel quite a bit and I’m afraid to get one because of that!
    Joe’s chicken looks wonderful! I didn’t realize I had some fancy kitchen items in the back–but I’ll be finding the best one and wrap it up into service.
    I loved your little Peter Rabbit video–so tame!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thank you for the Joy! xoxo ♥

  31. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Yea April!
    Loved the picture of Jack! I always have a cat audience when I cook too! Tonite we’re having baked chicken breast (already pounded) with oven roasted asparagus. I think I’ll add some lemon slices on top of them inspired by you!!
    So glad to read that the calendars will be out earlier this year!
    Happy Birth Month, Susan!

    • Becky says:

      Yay for cooked lemon slices!!! It’s very “Ina Garten” to cook slices of lemon with chicken and they are delicious; not sour or harsh and over powering, but a very….appropriate addition. Who knew you could eat the whole thing…..rind and all, when cooked:) If you haven’t tried it ladies, please do!

  32. paulie says:

    that chicken recipe is to die for…….augh but one ingredient missing I can’t find. The chicken splitter…………darned, wouldn’t ya just know it? But we love ya just the same Susan!

  33. Gert~Iowa says:

    Happy April to you too Susan! Love the new page on your calendar! (I did remember to turn it….smile) oh that blacken chicken looked amazing! Thanks for the recipe..I will have to show that to Tom! ☺

    Loved Jack with his paws all curled up… We always think Rusty looks so cute when he does that too…

    Now that bunny was so precious! Tom see’s one in our yard usually real early in the morning…so I’m sure they will be having babies one of these days!


  34. Jane says:

    Hi Susan! Thanks for reminding us to turn the page on the calendar…I didn’t think of that although I have been thinking of all sorts of pranks to play on my hubs!

    Love this recipe, I grow thyme although it hasn’t come up yet. I love it with chicken. Hurry up warm weather, I want to be in my garden!

    Love the videos…the bunny let you get pretty close. She probably has a nest nearby, watch that lawn mower!

    Happy April 1st!

    Jane From Chicago

  35. Treese says:

    I might just learn to cook yet with these step-by-step instructions. I like the taste of Lemon Thyme and put it in my salad when I can buy it here in the summer.
    I loved seeing the little “bun-bun” running around your yard especially this close to Easter. Unfortunately, I don’t have any on the ranch. I have a herd of Bloodhounds (my dog of choice as I grew up with them). It would be bunny rabbit Armageddon if they came around.
    This year for the first time in years I ordered too late and only scored my blotter calendar and not my wall one. I really miss it. YIKES! So, I will order EARLY!
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

  36. Jack says:

    Hmmm , amazing to see how your Brick Chicken resembles my Cherry Bomb Chicken
    The thing ya gotta like about my Cherry Bomb Chicken is that when it’s ready to place in the oven — it’s already half cooked …And once you find all the pieces it looks so much like the one you hit with the brick.
    What’s the date today .

  37. Jennie says:

    Susan- that looks absolutely delicious! Joe is amazing- and really, what man wouldn’t want to cook with a brick? I only wish my allergies weren’t so bad so I could manage a meal beyond frozen pizza at the moment! But ‘this too will pass’!
    Happy April! What a marvelous month it is!! So glad it’s spring- regardless of the wheezes and sneezes- take care! 🙂

  38. Diane from Washington state says:

    First of all…..how much $ does Joe want to become my family’s personal chef?! YUM! That chicken made me hungry…..! Secondly, I love Jack sitting there watching….lol. I dont know if you have ever given GK and Jack any “people” food? We have two cats….and “Prince” LOVES salmon and butter, but “Muffin” doesnt. Muffin loves chicken (which is why I am asking…since Jack was looking VERY interested..lol) …but not just any chicken…he loves fried chicken! and he loves cheese and tuna. We only give them a tiny bit, of course, but I have even seen both of them eat steak on occasion. Here is to wishing you and Joe and your little family a very Happy April!

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t give them people food because then I end up mincing scallops for them. I have done this before and learned my lesson!

      • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

        Something about scallops (also shrimp) that drives cats mad! They can never have enough!! Thought this was only our cats but you and others have said the same thing! LOL

  39. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Oh how I envy your oven dial. Our “modern” oven has a dreadful touch pad to turn it on, set the temperature and the timer. It simply won’t respond to my fingers no matter how hard or soft I tap, push, drum and swear. Ever wonder why if something works it needs to be changed? Oh dear sounding old again.

    • pat addison says:

      i love those old dials, more reliable than touch pad.

    • dottie says:

      Another vote for the old dials for temps and time — those touchpad things are a PAIN (the in-laws have one in the farmhouse kitchen). I will soon have to adapt though as my old stovetop and the double ovens are in their dotage and parts may be difficult to find which would mean — horrors — new appliances.

  40. Tamar Weaver says:

    thank you for sharing.

  41. Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

    Whoohooo a new chicken recipe with video and pictures! Perfect! in time for Easter! Will be trying that one this weekend. Have to borrow a cast iron pan from my Mom! Thanks for the recipes and pictures of the lovely blooms! Ah, yes, spring… and April… Happy Day! Smiles!!

  42. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    Hello Susan! When I opened this posting, I remembered to change my blotter calendar! My goodness…this year is flying by!
    I thought of you today as I read the L.A. Times Travel section. It is dedicated to walking tours in England. Here is one for Cotswold Way…
    I hope this links works for you. The articles were informative and delightful. 🙂
    Thank you for the delicious recipe! Can’t wait to try! I am with you in counting down the days until your fabulous trip to England. Thank you for taking us with you! Happy Spring…charlene

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll have to take us all on one of these walks, via video!

      • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

        ♥ Ohhhmyyyy…that would be so wonderful! 😀 You are going to make so many dreams come true by taking us all with you. ♥ Thank you, Susan!!! 😀

  43. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan………Happy April Fool’s day! My sister would have been 70 today and she was always playing tricks on me so I guess being born on this day is why she was that way. I’m wondering where you get these different kinds of recipes. Sounds so yummy. First I need to plant some lemon thyme……..then find the brick and things will be great. Hey, I’m so happy you wiped down the counter……….I know some people who have many kitties and they never wipe down anything……….so much cat hair………..this is from someone who wears a calico scarf (I call it my babushka) on my head while cooking so my hair doesn’t fall into the food. I don’t even want to find my own hair in my food!
    I’m so glad I checked today to see if there was a blog. I will surely print it out. Mr. Bunny was so sweet……….loved seeing how close you got. Well, Happy April Fool’s Day to you and Joe. Love, Gail & Joe, Bev. Hills, Fl

  44. Linda P., Bakersfield says:

    My mom who is 85 has two black cats. As soon as she sits down in the morning to have her coffee, one will jump in her lap. So at least she has someone to have coffee with every morning. Will try the chicken – I am always looking for a good roasted chicken recipe. Thanks

  45. Miss Pat in Indiana says:

    Note to Joe. Very few, if any, husbands have been shot while cooking dinner or helping with housework. From Susans writings you seem to be quite safe. This is a good thing. Blessed be on April 1st.

  46. Ann says:

    Welcome April! Anne Tyler’s new book comes out on Tuesday. We must have an old brick around here somewhere; that recipe sounds delicious. I love that your Queen’s mug was nearby. I haven’t seen a bunny here yet, but I’m sure my dogs have.

  47. Linda P says:

    Rabbit, rabbit – in deed!!!
    Chicken looks so good, never tried the brick, but bake some times in a stoneware bowl and that’s good also.
    Love the month of April, so many things blooming and yards coming alive – not to mention my birthday month!
    I just love little Jack’s mustache! We had a dog once that tucked his “hands” in like Jack does, makes them even cuter and makes me grin!!!

  48. Rae Ann says:

    No foolin’…I am NOT kidding and I am not the first girlfriend who mentioned smelling Joe’s chicken…I really did smell Joe’s chicken!!!…are you sure you and Joe haven’t invented some technological way to smell things over the computer???…or are your descriptive words and pictures so deliciously written so that we can S~M~E~L~L what we are reading???…NO FOOLIN’!!!…seeing the first buds on the trees here in western Minnesota today…xoxo…

    • sbranch says:

      I’m trying . . . it does drive me crazy sometimes to not be able to send the smells of things!!

  49. Sandra says:

    Garlic lemon oil chicken…sounds delicious, will have to try it soon and kudos to Joe for cooking. Dave used to cook for us, what a lovely way to show love.

  50. Christine Anderson says:

    Just love the little bunny! Thanks for sharing the recipe, must try it soon!

  51. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Happy April, Happy Spring!!! Although it feels more like summer here in IL today, 83 degrees!! Unbelievable. Love sweet Jack’s paws, the caught my attention right away. I love when my pups do that too, it’s just adorable, isn’t it?
    The chicken looks delish, I will try it too. I love your step-by-step photos.
    I saw a bald eagle this afternoon while sitting on our deck. I was looking up at the moon that had already appeared and I saw a huge bird soaring nearby, grabbed the binoculars and yes, there he was, magnificent, gives you the chill bumps!
    I hope you can share what books you’re taking along on your England trip, I need some good reading material myself.
    Hope you’re evening is lovely!
    Hugs & love,

  52. Chris Wells says:

    Returned from Fort Worth, putting my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren on the plane back to Ohio! Wow the house is quiet! So was pleased to find a new post and lots of comments to read. Especially loved the recipe! Lemon thyme is my favorite of all the thymes! Must tell you, last Thursday night my 4 year old grandson and I made the carrot cupcakes, only he kept calling them “pup-cakes” Too Cute! So we had Pup-cakes with dancing chickens, a memory this grandmother will not be forgetting! Thanks for helping to create the memories! You are touching so many lives with your writings and art! Thankyou! from the bottom of my heart.

  53. Cindy Tuning says:

    I just had to laugh after seeing the pictures of that chicken being torn apart down to the bone with Joes sharp knife…it’s back bone being removed and set aside…. and then to GENTLY rub the skin with olive oil. Just struck my funny bone! Jack is adorable with his little paws tucked under him enjoying being part of the project.Reminds me of a little fawn.

  54. Happy April Susan, Joe and kitties! Everythings a flittering, its spring, spring, spring! Wow! That chicken looks great! (when cooked). Where’s a rent a chef when you need one! I have lemon mint but no lemon thyme! I will plant, wait for it to grow, and cook the chicken myself. love the bunny and the flowers! Jack is a prince! I do love when kitties fold their paws! I’ve turned my calendar and love all the animals, stories and flowers, right down to the buzzing bee! Little orange kitty getting ready to pounce on something! Looking forward to the pink moon on Good Friday, Happy Happy Easter, Praise Him!

  55. oh what a sweet fellow to cook 🙂 I love that 🙂

    thanks so much, the calendar page is beautiful 🙂 I must flip my page!

    Thanks for the recipe too!
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

    • sbranch says:

      Joe’s a wonderful cook. Our kitchen has very little counter space; we each get half. And then we do what we call “the kitchen dance,” as I try to get to the fridge and he tries to get to the knives!

  56. Hi Susan

    This is a fabulous way to roast a chicken! I love the way it makes the skin dark crunchy and caramelized. Yum! Jack looks like an excellent supervisor in the kitchen 🙂

    Bunnies and pansy flowers –it looks like a beautiful Spring in Martha’s Vineyard!


  57. jeanne hedin says:

    Thank you, as usual, for the great post today . . . beautiful spring “stuff”, delicious recipe, adorable kitten . . . sunshine in MN. What more can we want! 🙂

  58. Becky says:

    Happy Day! Thank you for a lovely post. I teach 7th graders and this is the beginning of my Easter Break….ooops Spring Break ( need to stay p.c) so I am one happy, relaxed gal. My wisteria is blooming, and I have hundreds of fat buds sitting ready on my roses for the warmer weather. I LOVE herbs and I do have lemon thyme in my garden. That little plant has it all; fragrant leaves, delicate flowers, and the sweetest little tiny form and texture…like a teeny little fairy’s plant.
    I am so happy that you are taking us all to England. I was there last August for 10 days and I am hooked on everything English. Can’t wait to go back. Loved the food, the tours, the gardens, the history, the castles, museums, art, oh this is silly…..I can go on and on and on. You are too kind to include us all. I wish I could do something special for you. Seems like a lopsided deal, but thank you!

  59. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Hi Susan! That chicken recipe looks delicious although I have to admit that most of the time we have boned chicken breasts when we have chicken as I kind of hate to be reminded where it comes from…(I’m sure my BFF Sandy Richmond is watching to see if I would admit this to you as she knows my peculiarity!) 🙂 Norm is in charge of doing the Thanksgiving turkey so I think I will “let” him do the honors and I will mix up the marinade–doesn’t that sound like a nice way we could share the duties if we fixed the meal together??? 🙂 Or I might “wimp out” and make it using the boned chicken breasts…I can practically taste and smell it–I’ll bet the house smells wonderful when it is in the oven. Thank you for sharing the recipe! That little Jack curling his paws inward is cute as a button. He and our Betti must have read the same book entitled “How To Look Cute and Melt Their Hearts”. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s definitely a recipe that intrigues men . . . that brick seems to bring them in!

      • Victoria Miller says:

        I once told a friend from overseas who was trying to interest me in eating from a whole fish with a big eye staring that I’m an American and that many of us don’t eat meat that resembles what it is. I too prefer boneless chicken breasts that I can forget really came from a live animal.

  60. Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

    I’m so glad you showed the photos before the recipe!!! It all seemed so simple until all those WORDS! LOL This is terrible but sometimes I open a recipe book and if there’s too many words, I already want to give up. I think “this must be too complicated for me!” But, your photos led the way and simplified everything. It’s terrible that I’m such a Visual learner. (also that I give up too easily). I agree with everyone else here- it looks and sounds delish. I usually make lemon chicken by stuffing it with sliced lemons and onions, then roasting. Yours look like more fun. All my bricks are out in the garden…….if I wash one and let it dry out and then wrap it in foil will that still be ok? They’re not dry in the garden either! If I place it in the sun, a day should do it. What do you think?

    • sbranch says:

      I know, saying things like “stand the chicken on its head” is pretty obvious, but you need to write it down if you’re going to do a good recipe! I agree, I don’t like words either. I like quick and easy . . . this really is, but the cutting of the bone needs words. Much better to show! Definitely you can wash the brick, make sure it dries or it will affect the chicken cooking. It never touches the chicken anyway, so dirt’s not too bad.

  61. Sara Holiday, FL says:

    Yummy! This is going on the list fore sure! Happy Spring everyone!

  62. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    This was what I just noticed from your photos, Susan, that has me asking (once again) WHY don’t they do that anymore? You have one of those old-time cutting boards that pulls out from under the counter! I am soooooo jealous! Kitchens just don’t have enough room. That invention was so wonderful and now they don’t do it! I use a cutting board that I balance over the top of the sink but MAN if I had the old style one that pulled out from under the counter I would love it! “back in the day” every kitchen had that, now none. Ladies, if you have one I know you’ll agree that was a very handy thing to have in the kitchen, why was that done away with? I actually have one that I picked up at a garage sale that I painted on and it’s hanging on the wall…..maybe someone should get cabinet-makers a nudge to get the retro-feel back into the newly designed kitchens.

    • sbranch says:

      Wouldn’t that be wonderful? And this one is really long too, so handy to have right next to the stove. I’m sure they stopped it because of money . . . those little extras.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I’m sure as part of money-saving, too, the built-in cutting board in our townhouse is over the ONE drawer that is wide enough to hold silverware. So, if you want a fork while the cutting board is out, forget it…whoever designed the cupboards was definitely not someone who cooked! 🙂

        • pat addison says:

          i remember that cutting board from mom’s kitchen, that thing was huge and you could knead bread and roll out cookies for baking all on the same board at the same time. i often wonder who thought that idea up and why no one has ever incorparated into the modern kitchen, my grandma still has hers and loves it. now my kitchen, i could shoot the guy who remodeled it, and don’t tempt me as he lives right next door to me (the twerp). the oven is way too small, there is no counter space, the counters are too high, and instead of a good stove with 4-6 burners and a large oven, he put in a cooktop with only 2 working burners and indoor grill that i never use..too hard to keep it clean after any use. i think women should design the kitchens, not men as they have no clue what we want and need in there!!!

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      Hi Susan, Barbara, Pat & Pat! I so agree about built-in cutting boards. Here’s a fun story…I have a 50’s kitchen that has two built-in cutting boards…both very handy. Not only do they work for chopping but also as a lower working surface for my short-self! After so many decades, they were very well-worn, splinters were beginning to form! Imagine my delight last year, to find, at a neighborhood garage sale, two never-been-used cutting boards made for our old housing tract/kitchens. They were so new that the ends needed to be stained to match our 50’s cupboards! What a blessing! 😀

  63. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    I just went to the eagle sight and there both parents are on the nest feeding the chicks!!! It is so wonderful to be able to see this…Have a look as soon as you can..
    Time here est 8:29am. Happy Spring!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      From what I’m reading, it looks like a baby fell out of the nest?

      • Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

        Hi Susan, As far as I know there are still 3 in the nest. Thougdh one had a had time getting back under the mother & I did see it get under her. All I could think was poor little thing I hope you make it and it did. I watched her next feeding and there were still 3. She just fed them again at 11:10 am so it will be another hour or a little more till she feeds again. I will be watching and double count the chicks then I’ll come back later with the count.

  64. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    “April in Paris” has nothing on April in South Carolina! Or anywhere in the world, I imagine!!! No matter where you are, April has got to be the epitome of splendor for ANY month. To top mine off, after downsizing my chicken coop from 15 to 3 (we had to keep a couple of egg-layers for hubby and I), we now have 4 little chicks “brooding” on top of my corner fireplace in the kitchen. How precious these little fluff balls are. They’ll be in the house for a couple of weeks until they get big enough for an outdoor setting. But you can imagine the quiet little “peeps” going on around here . . . and I’m trying to bond with them, holding each one at a time in the palm of my hand and letting them peck at my fingers. They’re so much fun while they’re this tiny. But soon they’ll be as big as my other “girls”, and join the team of egg producers. But meanwhile, Olivia, Sister Sara, Abigail and Eloise are adding to our wonderful month of April! Have a great week, and a glorious Easter!

    • pat addison says:

      aren’t they fun, and soooooo adorable. i have 2 turkey chicks inside now, they are growing (only about 5 days old) but they will be as big as an adult hen by the time they hit 5 weeks of age and by 10 weeks be almost as big as an adult turkey. by 5 months of age they will be adult sized. we got the 2 turkey chicks for tom turkey to mate with when they are old enough. we raise chickens, now we want to raise turkeys and chickens, and keep the ducks..dongo, donald and dotty!!!

  65. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy April All! Golly that chicken looks good, I’m with you (Daddy) Jack – Yum!!! I think I can smell that cookin’ & I can hear (Kitty) Jack purrring!! Yikes, kitchen dancin’ with knives! I have no rhythm, that would be a disaster around here! Love turning my calendar page, except they’re turning way too fast!! I can hardly believe WE’RE going to England in May, & I don’t even have cute (they’ll need to be red, I’m a summer) walking shoes yet! XOXOXO!!!!!

  66. Sandra Gillanders says:

    I’m going to make your recipe for lemon thyme chicken soon, it looks wonderful and very friendly to my eating plan. Thanks for the cute video of bunny. So perfect for Springtime and Easter. xoxo

  67. What a wonderful, visual blog and Joe is a gem and has certainly endeared himself to the girls with his culinary skills!! I have to say this as an owner of 2 kitties…my 20# Mainecoon “grandson” Smokee loves to come in the kitchen and lay on the rug and watch me cook he is always in there (I have almost broke my neck turning around too quickly not realizing he was in his spot)…..both of our kitties turn their paws in and even under them at times..our beagle Goldee also did it. Susan, our black/white princess Mystee Mae has a black “jack-o-lantern” diamond nose and a black dot on her chin so I nicknamed her “smudge”…..I don’t have kitties that jump up on counters and if I did that is why soap/water was invented? Thank you for the bunny video is there anything more adorable in the world….well, all critters are precious. Happy Holy Week to All.

  68. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    I love that little chick you’ve been drawing with the big wide eyes (on the border above)….on the blotter with a little pink hat! It makes me smile!

    • sbranch says:

      My dancing chicken! 🙂

      • Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

        Yes! And speaking if dancing chickens, the finished, roasted flattened chicken looks as if it’s going to jump right out of the pan and do the can-can! Ha!

  69. OMGolly…..I just went to the Eagle site and that dear Mother Eagle enduring those strong winds (only a Mother). I wasn’t on 5 mins. and she got up and there they were 3 adorable babies and she was tearing some poor creature apart? eew and feeding them….equally I might add!! It was just so amazing to watch nature this close up and how loving/caring she is with them. I couldn’t help but notice the border of her nest with the twigs all entwined….birds nest are really a work of art. Spring has Sprung…..our dogwood trees are totally in bloom and so early…..there won’t be any color in April and they say do not plant annuals until after Mothers’ Day….I’m still thinking a cool summer is in store…time will tell.

  70. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    11:30 am est Monday…Susan I just saw the mother get off the chicks and the camers panned in for a close up,and there are 3 chicks in the nest. I didn’t have to wait for her next feeding to see them Yea!

  71. D. Newell says:

    Thank you for the recipe for the Lemon Chicken. I am going to try it. It looks yummy and a very interesting technique. But I’m not sure where to get the brick. At the moment I am brickless. If all else fails I will have to buy one. Have a wonderful day. Off to do laundry.

  72. wendy says:

    Happy April. What a wonderful post and extremely thorough pictures of the chicken recipe process which does look delish! I love the brick as a weight. I can hear the chicken sizzle. Thank you for the pansy pictures. They are one of my favorite flowers. And of course we have Jack, so sweet, devilish, probably wishing he could grab that chicken! Cats do have a way of making themselves comfortable no matter what, all tucked in. My cat will circle his spot sometimes many times before putting himself down and folding himself in. Why? Who knows! Cats are superior creatures! The bunny was so cute, good thing the kitties were inside! Who knows how they would have reacted. By the way I also love your range! Discussing your calendar is a great touch each month. I see it every morning when I wake up. I love the stretching kitty and dog at the bottom and YES animals do convey their thoughts, kids are more receptive but some adults are open to the conversation! Especially with cats! Thank you……….

  73. Ann Y. says:

    Thanks for the great recipe…can’t wait to try it – and glad to have some ideas to use my tyme wisely !!! Hah – coun’t resist that ! Thanks for all the great ideas, and for being a person who understands “rabbit rabbit”….we always say that before we fall asleep on the last day of the month and thr first thing when we wake up the next day…well, we try to, anyway. Do you know WHERE that tradition got started ?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s because rabbits are lucky (like rabbit’s foot) — it’s a really common saying in this neck of the world.

  74. Rosinda says:

    Happy April, Susan! The brick-flattened chicken looks absolutley scrumptious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and photos! I am definitely going to try that one of these days!! xoxo

  75. Paula K., Arkansas says:

    Susan, I haven’t had a chance to tell you how excited I am for your trip to England and that all of your girlfriends will be able to tag along. I can’t wait! The chicken looks so good. Thanks for the recipe and Happy April!

  76. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, everyone. Happy April. love the chicken recipe and i have cooked a chicken that way before, but i used kitchen scissors to remove the backbone not a knife, and it worked very well for me. i save the backbones for making stock, just stick in a freezer bag and into the freezer for use later. loved the bunny, haven’t seen a rabbit out here yet, too much muck and mud for them i guess. you all have a great day, hugs……. 🙂

    • Janet says:

      Thanks so much for including this recipe on the blog. After watching the video a short while back I knew I MUST HAVE IT – and rummaged through all my Susan B cookbooks but couldn’t find it – so this is a wonderful bit of Serendipity! Many thanks to Joe too for inventing it…

  77. Yeah, Mister Raw Chicken squicks me out a little, but I love the bunny video! And I ALWAYS LOOOOOVVVVVE Jack!!!!!

  78. Victoria Miller says:

    Loved you camera stalking the bunny in the back yard. You managed to get quite close! Indoors, Jack manages to make himself the center of things. The chicken with a brick on looks declicious, and I really enjoy all the flower photos you post. Such a pleasure to visit this blog. A very happy spring to all!

  79. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Hello everyone, I have been spening this day watching the mother eagle on her nest. She is a real good mother. She has beak & her chest & her winds full with these babies. At 1:38pm EST,one was out from under her and it was a ways from her on the nest, But she got up and the fast movement of her wings this little one was back under her. Then she nesteled down and proceaded to pull in more nesting material in to her brest to keep these little ones under her. The one is always popping it’s little head out and most of it’s body. It is realy strong and ready for more adventure then being under the mother.

  80. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Afternoon Sweet Sue… Happy April..First…Jack Is Beyond Adorable! My Heart Skips a Beat… 🙂 Second… Thank~You Joe & Sue for The Brick Flattened Lemon Chicken! Beyond Yummy & I Happen to Have a Chicken in My Freezer…& I Know Herbster Has lots of Bricks Lying around! Yay! 🙂 Third…The Bunny Hippity~Hoppity In Your Backyard…Omgggggggggggg! Easter’s On it’s Way! Yay! Smile on My Face…Twirling into Easter~Bliss! wishing All the Most Delightful Busy Week! Easter Bunny Pixie~Dust Everywhere! xoxo Poof! 🙂

  81. Well, I have come across some uses for bricks, but never in cooking (unless used to build a brick bread oven) I have a collection of 12 Goodwick bricks (silent ‘w’ in Good{w}ick) which I salvaged from a skip . . I love skip surfing . . and I’m not sure I’d want to cook with them as they are collector’s items . . actually, best not tell anyone that I have 12 in my possession 😉

    Such pretty pansies . . I do so love their little ‘pirate’ faces . . somehow, the ones we were given at lunch on Mothering Sunday 2011 not only survived the winter and are flowering beautifully, but have set seed and I’m now bringing on the delicate plantlets to spot around the garden . .

    Happy April . . remember, ♫ ♪ ♫ When April Showers do come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May . . ♥

  82. Dale Worness says:

    Your lemon chicken does look good. I remember one time a friend of mine was telling me how much she loved marshmallow chicken. I was thinking that does NOT sound good! I like them both but definitely not together. Then I figured she meant those liitle Easter “peeps”!
    Since I live in Florida I don’t get to see any of those gorgeous bulb flowers like you have up north. But last week I went into my neighborhood grocery store and there they were! Tulips, hyacinths, & even hydrangeas! It made me think of your pictures. 🙂 Then on a sale shelf I found Beatrix Potter’s “Sleep Tight, Peter Rabbit”, complete with a soothing night light! Of course I had to buy it. I’ve always loved rabbits and your bunny video was way too cute.
    I’m dog-sitting this week and just bought pink and blue bunny ears for Ben & Putter’s Easter picture. The ears would look good on Jack & Girl Kitty too. I would be more than happy to deliver them!

  83. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Susan my last report on the eagles is at the very top of the page under my first post today. Hope you all got a chance to watch for awhile.

    • Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

      I also love watching them. (last year too!) I like when you see the horses and when the camera pans to see all the surrounding countryside. One time I was watching and in the corner I could see movement – thought – what the heck IS that? then the cameraman (as if he could hear my thoughts) panned over and it was 2 people walking down the road. oh…thanks, I was curious (guess he was too). When the Mom or Dad Eagle call out, or when the “neighborhood birds” get to chirping my little parakeet likes to get involved. It’s so cute how “Corky” hears the racket and joins in 🙂

  84. Susan, if you’re planning to walk in the Lake District you may want to get this wonderful little book: “Walking with Beatrix Potter–Fifteen Walks in Beatrix Potter Country” by Norman and June Buckley


  85. Kathy McKinstry says:

    I love your kitty cats Susan! Jack is so adorable sitting on the counter like that with his paws! Thank you for having your camera always at the ready to snap pictures of Jack and Girl Kitty (hope I got their names right!) I think they should be included in every single one of your blogs!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been making them pose in pictures to make sense with the subject of the post! They aren’t as cooperative as they look! 🙂

  86. beebarbs says:

    Dancing chickens, scurrying bunnies, darling little kits and walks in the Cotswolds — oh my! I just read a magazine article that says we all belong to a “tribe” — I must belong to the Susan Branch Tribe!!

  87. cynthia says:

    mmmmmm………looks delish, I am going to try it 🙂

  88. Pam says:

    Thanks for the recipe Susan, it looks delicious. Joe is one very talented, good looking (judging by the photos), guy. If you ever want to pass him on to a young at heart pensioner let me know!! (Mind you hubby might have something to say about that lol).

  89. Aggie says:

    Love April as the earth returns beautiful colors to us. The chicken looks outstanding – can hardly wait to make it…wish I had it in my lunch today 😉

  90. Susan says:

    I was so excited to see this post, and am going to make sure my sis sees it, too.

    Many years ago, I watched a cooking show with my dad where someone made chicken under a brick. I was intrigued and said I wanted to try it. So, my wonderful dad trekked up to Williams Sonoma and bought this very large, heavy skillet for me. But he didn’t finish there. He supplied the brick, the chicken, and proceeded to cook the dish for me. Yum! He kept “my” skillet at his house and made many wonderful dishes (not just chicken) for me over the years. After he died, my sister and I were packing up the house when my mom was getting ready to move into a “home” and we ran across the skillet. Sis was blatantly eyeing it with kitchen lust. I told her the history of the skillet, but then told her I’d let her take it since I know she would both use it for practical purposes and treasure it for sentimental reasons–which she does.

    Some of the most unexpected things hold the best memories.

  91. Dinahsoar says:

    That chicken looks and sounds delicious. I just may try making it! And Jack–oh he is so cute I can barely stand it. That face. I love the curling paws too. I am sure you will be missing Jack horribly when you are in England–but England will be so wonderful it will be worth it. Jack may be standoffish when you return home, but not for long. He has to give you some kitty love to pay the rent.

  92. Lisa R (northern Arizona) says:

    That is the most delicious looking chicken I have seen in a long time! As soon as our Easter ham is gone, I will be cooking one up!! Thanks so much Susan, (and Joe) for sharing your yummy recipe. LML (licking my lips) 😀

  93. Kathy from Virginia says:

    Susan – I made this chicken for dinner tonight and we just finished it. It was crazy delicious! The funny thing is, when I asked my husband if he had a brick I could use, he was sitting at his desk in his home office, and he just reached over to a shelf and pulled down a brick! It’s a very cool looking brick that he found washed up on a beach. I told him I needed one to cook with. Without asking any questions he went outside and came back with a dirty, wet brick. So I said, well, I need one that is dry. So he went into his workshop and came back with a dry brick. I had no idea he has so many bricks lying around the house! He is still rather confused about how I cooked a chicken with a brick, so I will have to show him your pictures. But he absolutely loved the chicken. Me too. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a new favorite.

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