The broiler is an unsung hero in the kitchen: It preheats quickly, transfers heat more efficiently than the ambient waves of the oven’s bake setting, and in certain applications requires less babysitting than the stovetop. Take shrimp, for example, which cook so rapidly in a hot pan that they must be constantly monitored. Spreading them out on a baking sheet and broiling them, I hoped, would be a more hands-off way to “sear” the pieces, since I could strategically distance them from the broiler’s fierce element. If I found that sweet spot, I could achieve a tray of snappy, lightly charred shrimp to top rice, noodles, or salads or swipe through cocktail sauce.
When shopping for shrimp, I gravitate toward the extra-large size—they’re meaty but conveniently bite-size, perfect for everyday applications. After peeling and deveining them, I salted them for 15 minutes so that they’d be thoroughly seasoned and hang on to their moisture during cooking. Then I thoroughly blotted them dry, hoping that would allow their surfaces to brown.
But no matter where I positioned the oven rack—within 2 inches or as far as 8 inches from the broiler element—the shrimp cooked through before taking on any attractive, flavorful char. The problem wasn’t the broiler itself; the rack positions offered plenty of range for harnessing its radiant heat, which is focused and intense at close range and more diffuse with distance. The problem was that shrimp cook quickly and lack sufficient fat to undergo rapid browning.
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Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.