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i love pan fried chicken usually with some tumeric, salt, pepper, rosemarry, and evoo. Anyways, I don't like to get my thermo dirty everytime, and sometimes i get it a bit overdone, sometimes the oppsite

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

There isn't one.

The only reliable way to determine doneness of a chicken breast is to use a thermometer. If you didn't have a thermometer then you would have to cut open the breast to confirm. Outside of those the only other method is experience. e.g. knowing that it takes 5 minutes per side to cook a breast of X size, in Y pan, on Z stove, at M heat.

Given that you own a thermometer, it's kind of silly to ask for another way. Use it.

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I do it restaurant style. I sear it nice and golden on one side, flip, sear a minute or two on the other, and then bung into a 350 degree oven. 12-14 minutes and it's done. (Obviously you can only do this if you have oven-safe frying pans). No need for thermometers, maybe a quick poke to double check.

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1  
I don't know if I would call that a "check for doneness." Restaurants can get away with that because they can produce repeatable results when working with the time/ingredients/equipment day after day. If you cook anything long enough, it's probably safe to say, "Sure, it must be done by now." But that's only safe if you way overestimate the minimum cooking time needed and err towards overcooking. –  Robert Cartaino Nov 8 '10 at 17:51
    
YEah good info from @daniel, but doesn't entirely answer the question at hand. still his point is valid, if you know the combination well enough you can cook without checking beyond a "quick poke" lol. –  Anonymous Type Dec 7 '10 at 21:44

You can work on learning the finger test, but during your first experiments, I would cross-check this with your thermometer to make sure you know what it feels like.

Personally I prefer to only trust a thermometer, as then I can be absolutely sure (within the margin of error for the device) that my food contains no living harmful bacteria to hurt anyone I am serving.

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I also use the finger test. I'm never sure if I'm poking the right way, so I cut and use my infrared. –  papin Oct 2 '10 at 20:46

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