I'm oddly wary of trying to cook chicken. Even though I've prepared for it I found myself putting it off and thinking maybe I'll just have a burrito tonight. But the chicken is already two days old, so I forced myself to try.
Then I was debating on how many to cook. I have 4 breast halves (boneless & skinless). I thought if I messed up one or two then I could do the next better, but ultimately I decided to cook them all at once.
I washed them and patted them dry, pounded them a tad and coated them with Old Bay (salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon...other stuff).
I heated the skillet and added the oil. I wasn't sure how much oil to use, so I poured in enough to spread to most of the width of the pan. (I now think this was too much as there's a bunch left over and it's way too oily to consider making a sauce of it after cooking.)
I also wasn't sure where to set the burner. I set it just barely over medium and set a second burner almost 2/3 of the way to medium. (Sean suggested browning and then cooking at a lower temp; hard to do with an electric stove unless you use two burners...cool.)
So I added the chicken, but only 3 pieces fit so I bagged the 4th and put it in the fridge. After 2-3 minutes the white was already halfway up the sides so I flipped them even though it seemed a bit early to me. I figure my problem has been overcooking, and I can always cook it more later. They were lightly browned (hard to tell really because I suck and because of the Old Bay) but one had a couple of raw spots where the meat wasn't touching the pan.
This is way more detailed than I originally imagined, but what the heck...Jen and Sean will probably enjoy it on some level.
After another two or three minutes I peeked and the other side was about as brown as the first, so I flipped them again (because of the raw spots) and put it on the cooler burner and covered the skillet with a lid.
I cut and poked two or three times on the bigger pieces, and one was quite more raw inside than I expected, then I realized I may want to take the smaller one out way earlier, and the others will probably be reheated so it's probably okay to have the pink inside as Sean said.
The small one was pretty much done so I took it out immediately and took the skillet off the heat figuring the others would continue to self-cook as J&S; said.
I ate the smaller one carefully, paranoid about it being undercooked, but it was juicy and good. And even the parts that I thought had a pink tinge (but not uncooked by any measure) had clear juices (I examined my dinner way more than usual).
I didn't want to completely disassemble the other two, but I'm pretty sure they cooked more even after I put them on the plate. I'm curious to see how they turn out when reheated.
So it was definitely way better than I've done before. I'm not sure if it was "right", but I think it was close, at least on the smaller piece. I think I might brown them more next time, but I'm not sure. I'm even starting to wonder if the small piece was slightly overdone and if I could have made it juicier. More practice will tell me that I suppose.