I noticed the other day and mentioned to Jen that I have slipped back into avoiding cooking chicken again. It wasn't a conscious thing, but I realized it had been a few weeks since I tried and wasn't planning on trying soon. I moved a couple of bonless, skinless breasts from the freezer to the fridge at the end of the week, and tonight I decided it's time to try again instead of reheating the perfectly fine burrito meat or finishing off the last batch of chicken salad (made with canned chicken breast chunks, but also perfectly fine).
At Sean and Jen's suggestion I tried broiling them this time. I haven't broiled anything before. I preheated the broiler for 10 minutes while I washed and dried the breasts and laid them on the foil-covered broiler pan. For grilling and sauteing you start "show side" down, but with broiling the heat source is on top. I wasn't sure which way is the "right" way, but I went with show side down first.
At this point I realize I didn't take the cooking stone out before preheating or figured out how far the meat would be from the heating element, but it looked about 6" away which I think is right, and I decided the stone wasn't a problem. In goes the chicken leaving the oven door ajar for broiling.
I set a timer for 6 minutes in case I wandered off and lost track of time. I didn't have a set time I wanted to cook, but I wanted to keep a feel for how long they were going on each side. I had intended to visually gauge the cooking by the whites on the side, but in the broiler the sides went white quickly unlike the saute pan where I can watch the white creep up. I decided to watch for color, but that was hard, too with the amount of pepper I added. At 6 minutes I thought it was still a bit too light except for the very edges which were browning quickly. I noticed the sizzle of moisture escaping had increased a lot. I decided to turn them, and when I did I was satisfied that I got it right based on how the flip side looked. Also the chicken was a little more brown that I thought it was once I had it in the light.
I realized I hadn't put any oil on and saw somewhere online that said to oil or marinate the chicken, but I don't offhand remember Sean or Jen mentioning it. So I sprayed some canola oil with the Misto on the second side before salting and peppering it.
I set the timer for 5 minutes on the flip side, but again I wasn't cooking by time. Before the 5 minutes was up the sizzling picked up again and I could see some brown but less than I thought I wanted. I decided to pull them out and feel for doneness...by feel I thought they were done and perhaps even overdone, so I took them out.
From the juices I imagined I saw pink and thought they might be undercooked, but the feeling was so firm I was afraid they were overcooked. I set the timer for 5 minutes to let them rest but along the way sprinkled some thyme (from the spice rack...I want to see my thyme plant spread a little more before harvesting it) and rosemary on them and dribbled the foil juice on top.
After 5 minutes I took the smaller one and cut into the thickest part. Again I imagined a pink tinge to the juice but recalled that fresh chicken will still look a bit pink when fully cooked. This wasn't exactly fresh but was sealed well at the distributor and put in the freezer as soon as I got it home. I cut it all the way through and decided it looked freakin' perfect. It definitely wasn't undercooked, and if it was overcooked it wasn't by much. Actually it's not overcooked enough to remark on normally, it's just that I know I've had better cooked chicken before, but only a handful of times.
Very yummy, very juicy and cooked as close to perfect as I've ever done before. Future adjustments: less pepper, and add other seasonings before cooking.
I'm suddenly a broiler convert. Are burgers better in the broiler than in pan, too?