I happened to be at the grocery store just as they marked down that day's rotisserie chicken. I planned to use chicken breasts for tomorrow's Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken, but at that price it was hard to turn down rotisserie chicken. So now I've got it shredded, and as grocery store rotisserie chicken tends to be, the flavor is really nice. It's missing some char though.

The sauce I'm tossing with the final dish includes sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha and brown sugar. I could make a little extra sauce (maybe heavy on the sugar for the caramelization?), and toss the chicken with a bit of that and put it under a hot broiler for a bit.

My thinking is to marinate the chicken in the sauce and briefly put it under a blazing hot broiler to char the marinade. I want to avoid overcooking the chicken and of course I want to avoid any nasty burnt flavors. Any advice or caveats?

EDIT: Just to follow up. I followed the advice of the posters here and did not further cook the chicken. I did add some fairly heavily charred multicolored bell peppers. That did the trick, it was a new recipe and it made a lovely meal.

3 Answers 3


One way to get some quick charring without drying out the meat would be to use a blowtorch.

To quickly caramelise and generate an effective Maillard reaction, you can:

  1. refrigerate the meat in an air-tight container, keep it cool so it doesn't overheat during the charring process
  2. Mix a touch of glucose syrup with an oil that has a high smoke point (like rice bran oil,) you need a viscosity where you can brush it on to the parts you want to char
  3. Swiftly blowtorch the areas you brushed with the glucose syrup. I'm talking a few seconds at most.

You should be able to char the meat without cooking it at all by doing this.

EDIT: I realise now that this question was asked two days ago, and this answer is pretty useless now. However, I encourage you to give it a go if there is a next time :) Or just experiment with the technique when you have some free time and curiosity. If you don't have a blowtorch, the glucose syrup layer will also quickly create caramelisation and Maillard reaction in a hot pan, also in seconds.

  • That's a thought! I even have a blowtorch :)
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 2:11

If you try to char post-shredding you are very likely to dry it out. Try charring another ingredient instead, or just live with it un-charred.

  • I do have some nice multi-colored sweet bell peppers. I could char those pretty easily. What about putting the chicken in the freezer for 20 minutes or so before tossing with the sauce and broiling?
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 9:29
  • Freezers are really dry, if you do make sure it's in a sealed container. I don't think it do much for you anyway.
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 10:09

If you have skin on dark meat remaining, which is very much more tolerant of cooking with less risk of overcooking, you might try this (with the caveat that I have not done it):

  • Heat a grill pan or skillet (cast iron would work well for this) to smoking hot
  • Brush it with vegetable oil
  • Lay the pieces, skin side down, in the pan and cook just until charred.

The high heat should char the skin before the main part of the piece comes up to a very high temperature. The physics of direct conduction make this far more efficient transfer of heat energy than the radiant heat from almost any home broiler.

Still, I suspect you would be almost as well served simply by using the chicken as is. While some people consider it a terrible heresy, perhaps you can create some smokiness with just a touch of liquid smoke, or if you feel it is compatible with the asian flavors, some smoked paprika or chipotle.

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