It’s a Sunday night. I’m at Achilles Heel in Brooklyn
for a very special reason. One of my favorite chicken dishes of all time is served here. Every Sunday, as long as the weather permits it, Chef Lee Desrosiers is cooking up chickens on this incredible medieval
chicken cooking apparatus. Let’s go in there. Let’s meet the man himself. And then let’s eat the birds, and then I’m going to tell you all about how delicious they are. (lively music) Tell me about the actual contraption because this is obviously
not something that you can roll into a Restaurant
Depot and buy, right? A friend of mine is a metal worker, so he just built us a frame. I just needed a fire table, essentially that I could build on top of. He also made these pot stands right here. What I did was I went to Home Depot, just got a brunch of bricks, put them all up here, and got these pipes from Home Depot, screwed them together and that was it. You do this once a week, only on Sundays. So when do you get the birds in? We get the birds in on Friday and then we butcher them on Saturday. So, I spatchcocked it
and took the spine out. I also, with my knife, I cut along the bones and actually put salt inside here. I also chop the ankles off to
get some of the marrow out. That just helps it smoke, helps it cook a little faster and, when it’s ready to grill, it’s nice and flattened out for me, so it’s perfect. They sit overnight in the salt. Then on Sunday, we light the fire around noon and hang the chickens
for two to three hours. We put the two chickens
in the solid cast-irons and cover them with coals so that they steam through
to about 165 degrees. We let those steam in
their own juices and fat. It takes about 45 minutes, then we let them rest
for about 30 minutes. This is like a Transformer, so I’ll rearrange it where I push all the
coals under the grill. We’ll have a grill set up here
so when an order comes in, we, whether it’s a half or whole chicken, we cut it, grill it on the live embers, and throw it on the plate. (upbeat music) And there it is. Thank you so much. Cheers. All right, so here it is. Look at the char and the crisp on that. It really is like, it smells like pork. That’s amazing. It’s so, they’ve rendered
so much flavor out of it. This does look almost
like pork scratching. I’m going to go in there
and try the white meat, which is generally less
flavorful than the dark meat. But, in this case, I bet you this tastes better than most dark meat chicken
of a commodity bird. I was so right. Oh my god. I have to say that that does not taste like white meat chicken. It doesn’t taste like any kind of chicken. It tastes like duck. It’s got a profound flavor. It’s hard to describe it
because it’s so unexpected. I think that’s not just
because it’s been grilled. I think that’s because of the way that Lee has really
developed flavors over time. I’m going to go in
there and try the thigh, which is generally my favorite. By the way, look at that. Look at the way it’s just
crisped up and charred. You can see where he actually cut it and salted it on the inside. I’m expecting this to
be supremely flavorful. Wow. Pleasingly salty. It’s almost like this thigh has everything great about chicken, whether it’s a fried chicken
or a roasted chicken. This has those elements. It’s got that real
crunch from the outside. Now, this hasn’t been
battered or fried or anything, but it’s shatteringly crisp because of the way that it’s grilled. You can see that it really does have, it just flakes apart. It’s so tender. It’s like the whole
flavor of that entire bird just concentrated in that one thigh. To me, this is the greatest
version of outdoor chicken that I’ve ever had. If you just sat down and ate this chicken, you would love it. It would be delicious. But if you get to
actually see how it’s made on this amazing contraption, with all the flame and the
embers glowing majestically, I think it will heighten your awareness and also your enthusiasm for this dish. I generally prefer to
eat four-legged animals over two-legged animals. But, in this case, this chicken hits all of
the right notes for me. It really does kind of defy expectations. With that said, I can’t encourage you
enough to get down to Achilles Heel on a Sunday
and try out the Hell Chicken. I’m going to finish this one off, and maybe a few more. I’ll see you on the next
episode of The Meat Show.