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I want to make chicken butterfly breast similar to Nando's but plain. I read this question which gave me a good insight. I have no grill so only a gas oven/halogen oven and a frying pan.

Am I able to cook it like Nando's Butterfly chicken using a frying pan and an oven? Is this the best method to achieve this:

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. Put just enough oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to cover the bottom.
  3. Put the pan over medium-high heat and get it good and hot - the oil may just start showing wisps of smoke.
  4. Lay the chicken in the pan carefully, being sure to start at the edge closest to you and lay it down away from you. This will prevent you from getting splashed with hot oil.
  5. Let it cook for 2-4 minutes until you get a nice sear on it.
  6. Flip, (the chicken, not you) again being careful to flip away from you.
  7. Now if the breast is thin enough (maybe you butterflied it beforehand), you can just let it finish in the pan. Often, though, after flipping I'll pop the whole pan into a 400F oven and finish it in there. Again, times will vary, but I would start checking it after 5 minutes.

As I don't like seasoning, what oil should I use?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, this technique will give you approximately the same results as Nando's. You want to use an oil with a relatively high burning point like sunflower, rapeseed or groundnut - olive oil may burn.

Another point to remember is that Nando's chicken breasts all have the skin on: this adds flavour and helps keep the meat moist. For the best results, both in terms of not giving yourself food poisoning and avoiding dry chicken, use a quick-read digital thermometer to ensure the breast is only cooked as much as it needs to be, but at a safe internal temperature. It should reach 75ºC in the thickest part.

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How much are quick read thermometers? Am i best to buy chicken breast with skin (is this possible our a supermarket/butchers)? –  LmC May 22 '13 at 11:02
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P.s. what a great answer! –  LmC May 22 '13 at 11:03
    
You can get digital probe thermometers on Amazon for about £10. You can use them for all kinds of cooking, they're super useful. Never overcook a roast again! You can definitely buy skin on chicken breasts at most supermarkets, and if a butcher doesn't have it, he's not worthy of the name! –  ElendilTheTall May 22 '13 at 11:09
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Your method will work, my main feedback would be that chicken breast can get very dry, so avoid that by marinading the chicken, and not overcooking it. Not overcooking it is tough, with butterflied breast meat an extra 30 seconds can make the difference between tasty and moist and dry and horrible. Remember that the center is going to keep cooking after you take it off the heat, so remove it a couple of degrees below target temperature.

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