– three things I love to do. Come with!
It’s a midweek evening. You’ve just gone for a run after work, you just showed the gym who’s boss. You come home and you’re starving, but you want to make a healthy dinner. You toss a large spring salad, you grill some chicken breast, and you sit down for a vegetable and protein feast. Except your grilled chicken tastes like chalk board dust pressed into a little brick of a breast. It’s dry, stringy meat that brings nothing to your meal. What gives?
Here’s a little trick to keep chicken moist and healthy:
Keep the skin on the chicken breast (or any piece of chicken) when you’re cooking it, and use both a pan and the oven to cook a moist, flavorful piece of meat. Put a tablespoon or two of olive oil in an oven-safe frying pan and let it heat up. Once the oil is slick and viscous (it will slide easily around the pan and look shimmery), place the chicken breast skin side down and let it sear for a few minutes. Don’t move it; you’ll lose juices and it shouldn’t burn if you have enough olive oil. You don’t even need to turn it. After the piece has a little color, pop the whole pan in the oven at 400F for 7ish minutes. When you remove it from the oven, the chicken will have retained its juices and flavor, saving you from choking down chicken-shaped cardboard clippings.
I admit that in college I used a Foreman grill to cook chicken, but I’m never going back. The design of the Foreman grill squeezes out any and all juice (read: flavor). Leaving the skin on for the cooking process helps retain those juices. If you’re really watching the calorie intake, remove the skin AFTER the cooking process, since the skin will protect the meat from moisture loss and burning. If you’re down with crispy, golden goodness, leave the skin on. You’ll be reminded that chicken doesn’t have to be boring.