How to Broil Chicken

For decades, broiled chicken has been the meat of choice for those on low-fat and low calorie diets. Unfortunately, broiled white chicken has also acquired a reputation for being bland, rubbery and dry.

That's a real shame, because chicken - especially white meat chicken - is one of the most versatile proteins available. All it takes is a bit of knowledge about how to broil (or grill) chicken so that it stays moist and flavorful and you will find that chicken tastes great even without all the sauces and gravies.

One of the most important things to keep in mind about chicken white meat is that it has little fat of its own. The fat is all in the skin. You can visit us at While that makes it relatively easy to cook chicken with almost no fat, it also means that chicken white meat is prone to becoming very dry when cooked without the skin. Want to avoid dried out broiled chicken breasts? Here are some tips for broiling chicken that will be moist and delicious.

1. If fat is not a concern, broil breasts with the skin on, and turned toward the heat source. For broiling, start with the skin side down, and then flip chicken pieces halfway through. Broiling breasts with the skin on will not appreciably increase the fat content of the meat as long as you remove the skin before eating it.

2. If using skinless breasts, rub them lightly with olive oil or marinade before broiling. Experiment with flavored olive oils to find flavor combinations that you like. Or, brush breasts with Italian dressing - or spray lightly with cooking spray to give them a light coating.

3. Precook chicken breasts in chicken stock before putting them under the broiler. They will start out infused with extra moisture and flavor, and spend less time drying out under the broiler.

4. Use an herb rub to crust the chicken on the outside. You will a get browned, crusted outside and moist, tender inside.

5. Your heat source should be about 5 to 6 inches away from the top of the chicken for best broiling.

6. Flavor chicken meat with herbs, salt and spices before broiling.

7. Preheat the broiler for 9 to 10 minutes before putting the meat in. If you try to broil chicken in a broiler that is not preheated, they will dry out before they cook through.

8. Keep your eye on the chicken while it is cooking. If edges are cooking too quickly, rearrange the pieces on the pan or adjust the heat.

9. Conversely, shield the thinner edges of chicken breast with foil to prevent them burning before the rest of the chicken is cooked.

10. Flip chicken when top side is browned. Since breasts will not all cook at the same rate, keep an eye on the chicken so that you can remove breasts when they are done and prevent them from drying out.

11. Use tongs to turn chicken. Do not pierce with a fork or juices will escape, leaving chicken dry and stringy.

12. Brush top side of chicken with marinade, barbecue sauce, Italian dressing or flavored olive oil after turning. A light basting will refresh the moisture and infuse flavors into the meat.

Broiling a Whole Chicken

Generally, whole chicken is roasted, often after being stuffed with forcemeat of some kind or other. You can also visit us at However, a whole chicken can be cooked under the broiler for a very different taste. You just need to flatten the chicken before cooking. Follow these directions for flavorful broiled whole chicken.

1. First, butterfly the chicken

2. Remove the backbone: Using a heavy knife or kitchen shears, cut close to the backbone from neck to tail on each side of the bone, and then remove it.

3. Flatten the chicken: Spread the chicken skin side up on your table or counter, and bang the breast with your fist to break the collar bone and some of the ribs.

4. Fold the wings to either side of the shoulders.

5. Cut a slit in the skin at either side of the breast tip.

6. Insert the tips of the drumsticks through the slits in the skin.

7. Brush the chicken with olive oil and spices. Or use flavored olive oil.

8. Put chicken skin side down in broiler pan - not on a rack.

9. Broil about 5 inches from the heat for five minutes.

10. Brush the chicken with oil and spices and place back under the broiler.

11. After five minutes baste again, using the juices in the pan, and place back under broiler for five minutes more.

12. Baste chicken, and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices and turn skin side up.

13. Broil and baste skin side for fifteen minutes more, basting every five minutes to ensure meat remains moist.

14. Chicken is done when juices run clear yellow from pricked drumstick.

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