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Can you broil chicken breasts? Most definitely! It might just be the new spin you've been looking for on your usual chicken dinner. We'll teach you how to broil chicken, including tips on how long to broil chicken and a few of our favorite broiled chicken recipes.

By Katlyn Moncada
Updated March 15, 2021
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There's nothing worse than cutting into your chicken dinner only to find dry, stringy meat. Good news for you, broiling chicken is a fast and easy way to ensure your chicken comes out perfectly moist and tender. Sure, there are plenty of other ways to cook chicken such as baking or roasting, but broiling your poultry takes way less time. Follow our instructions below to learn how to broil chicken for perhaps one of the most delicious chicken dishes you'll ever taste. You'll also learn how to broil chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and even kabobs, so you can use this cooking method for virtually any chicken recipe.

Credit: Blaine Moats
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What Is Broiled Chicken?

Broiling is a technique that involves cooking food at a measured distance below direct, dry heat. When broiling chicken (and other foods), a broiler pan ($15, Bed Bath & Beyond) is used so the surface of the food (not the rack) is a specified distance from the heat source. Use a ruler to measure this distance in a cold oven. For chicken, you'll want to make sure the meat will sit approximately 5 to 6 inches beneath the broiler.

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

If desired, remove the skin from the poultry; sprinkle with salt and black pepper or whatever seasonings you're using. Preheat broiler for 5 to 10 minutes. Arrange the poultry on the unheated rack of the broiler pan with the bone side up. If desired, brush poultry with cooking oil to help keep it moist.

Step 2: Broil Chicken in the Oven

Place the pan under the broiler so the surface of the chicken is 5 to 6 inches from the heat. Turn the poultry over when brown on one side, usually after half of the broiling time. Chicken halves and meaty pieces should be turned after 15 minutes. Brush again with oil.

Broiling Chicken Times

If your recipe doesn't specify how long to broil chicken, follow these guidelines using 165°F as the doneness temperature for food safety (more on that next).

  • Broiler-fryer and meaty chicken pieces: Breast halves, drumsticks, and thighs with bone, 2½ to 3 pounds, 25 to 35 minutes
  • Kabobs: Boneless breasts, cut into 2½-inch strips and threaded loosely on skewers, 8 to 10 minutes
  • Skinless, boneless breast halves or thighs: 6 to 8 ounces, 15 to 18 minutes
Get Our Greek-Inspired Broiled Chicken Kabob Recipe

Step 3: Finish Broiling the Chicken and Brush with Sauce

The poultry is done when the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear and it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer ($20, Crate & Barrel). Our Test Kitchen prefers the texture of thighs, drumsticks, and bone-in breasts at 170°F though they are still safe to eat at 165°F. If desired, brush with a sauce the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Practice your new skills by making a new broiled chicken recipe for dinner tonight. You can broil chicken with a lemon-mustard sauce or barbecue sauce for a flavorful meal. Or you can broil chicken breasts with zesty seasoning for tacos or a mouthwatering pineapple salad. No matter what you're craving, you can make these recipes any night of the week.

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