The Genius Hack For Charred Chicken Without Firing Up The Grill

grilled chicken filets with salad
grilled chicken filets with salad - Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Grilling is a favorite summertime activity for most people, but it's certainly not without its challenges. There are many steps involved in grilling, such as lighting the charcoal and cleaning the grill grates prior to cooking. And even if you're lucky enough to have a nifty gas grill, which is a bit more convenient when compared to charcoal grills, inclement weather can prevent you from using the device.

If you have a hankering for grilled chicken and have a panini press at home, you can enjoy a char-grilled flavor without the hassle associated with grilling. Panini presses are devices with top and bottom cooking surfaces that close around food to ensure optimal doneness. Traditionally used to prepare sandwiches (or paninis), panini presses can also cook lots of other food, including vegetables, burgers, and chicken. These gadgets create the delectable char marks that you thought were only possible with grilling. And while it ultimately depends on the size of your press, the device can potentially cook spatchcocked whole chickens as well as chicken breasts.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

How To Make Panini-Pressed Grilled Chicken

grilling chicken on panini press
grilling chicken on panini press - Maria Saifutdinova/Getty Images

Ensuring your chicken is cooked thoroughly is the key to a tasty meal, but it's also crucial from a food safety perspective. Accordingly, boneless chicken breasts are best when using a panini for grilling purposes. While the total cooking time depends on the size of the breast, six ounces of chicken should take about four minutes to completely cook on the panini press, provided the device was preheated before cooking.

You'll also need to keep the chicken from clinging to the press while it cooks. In this case, a sesame-chili marinade for grilled chicken will prevent the meat from sticking while also infusing it with flavor. Otherwise, add a layer of oil to both sides of the panini press. If you want to let the seasoning on your panini chicken stand on its own, use an oil with a neutral flavor, such as vegetable, peanut, or refined olive oil. These oils will keep the cooking surfaces non-stick without imparting a flavor of their own.

What If You Don't Have A Panini Press At Home

person flattening a chicken breast
person flattening a chicken breast - guys_who_shoot/Shutterstock

If your household doesn't have a panini press, no worries. If you have at least two pans at home, you can replicate the dual-cooking surfaces of a panini press with a little bit of kitchen ingenuity. While this hack is normally used to whip up tasty sandwiches, you can also use it to make chargrilled chicken breasts. Just place the chicken in a heated pan and place another pan over top of it. For added pressure, place some heat-safe cookware, such as mugs or bowls, on the top pan.

It's best to use thin slices of chicken when employing a DIY panini press. If your chicken breasts are particularly meaty, you can flatten them by placing them in a plastic bag and giving them a whack with a rolling pin or mallet. Because more of the chicken will make contact with the cooking surface, flattening a chicken breast is a great way to ensure even doneness. When it comes to side dishes, roasted potatoes with rosemary make for a hearty accompaniment to "grilled" chicken. If you're seeking something lighter, quinoa salad Tex Mex-style is another delicious option. Now you can enjoy tasty grilled chicken any night of the week without a lot of fuss.

Read the original article on Daily Meal