Originally Posted by Trouts mom
Someone tell me what I did wrong:
It said saute chicken in butter on med/high heat on both sides for about 10 minutes..
I did EXACTLY that, and it wouldn't stop smoking about half way through the first side..
I used margarine instead of butter..does that matter? I don't get it, I followed the !@#$ directions
Medium-High is not the same on all stoves. And butter and margarine has a very low burning point.
Much better to use vegetable oil with a small amount of butter added to it for flavour. Never depend on butter as the only fat when sauteing anything.
Also, when you are browning something it's important to add the oils, let the pan warm up and then put the meat into the pan so that the meat doesn't just sit in the fat. Also, once you add the meat to the pan, don't move it around until the side is lightly browned (not black). If you try and move it around before that, the muscle fibres haven't had a chance to shrink and the meat will still be stuck to the bottom of the pan.
And never leave your pan while you are lightly browning something. Always be near it and check the bottom periodically so that you can flip it once it's lightly golden brown.
When I brown something, I put the pan on the stove, turn the heat to MEDIUM, add the vegetable oil, wait a minute and then add the seasoned meat. As the meat is cooking, I'm constantly lifting a bit of the bottom up with a fork to check for colour and when it's no longer stuck to the pan, and then I flip it over. I hardly ever cook meat to completion in a pan on the stove. I usually par cook it and then move it to the oven in a covered dish where it bakes and retains it's juices.
Also another tip for cooking chicken on the stove in a pan is to make sure that it's even thickness throughout. If you look at a chicken breast part is thick and part is really thin. You really need to cook chicken thoroughly to prevent yourself from dying of salmonella poisoning. So it's always a good idea to put the chicken between plastic or wax paper and pound it with a mallet so that it's the same thickness throughout. I don't have a mallet so I use my marble rolling pin which works great because it's quite heavy.