Tips For Making Your Grilled Chicken Look Picture Perfect

Here is a list of 2 things I like:

1.  Pretty stuff.

2.  Fast stuff.

3.  Paper towels that have properly performing perforations causing them to tear off in an entire sheet.  I do NOT like paper towels that insist on only allowing    3/4’s of a sheet to tear off, leaving 1/4 of the paper towel remaining on the roll.  Those types of paper towels in fact, anger me.

I realize that list ended up being 3 things I like and 1 thing I don’t like.  Sorry ’bout that.  If you’re  now disgusted with me for leading you astray feel free to leave now.  I don’t blame you.

So back to the pretty/fast stuff.  I’ve mentioned before about my aversion to eating an entire chicken breast .  I don’t like the look of it on my plate and it seems overwhelming to me.  And gross.   Now – if you take that exact same chicken breast and slice it up before you put it on my plate I find it much more palatable.

If this seems weird and psychotic to you, imagine how many time’s you’ve sat down and devoured half a pizza.  Or even a whole pizza, depending on how honest we’re being here.  If you dropped that entire, unsliced pizza on your plate it would be overwhelming.  Gross.  You’d never be able to eat it in a million years. Plus it’d be slightly awkward.  BUT … slice that pizza up into tiny little slices and you can eat the whole thing.

For some reason the more slices something is in, is directly proportionate to the amount of it you can eat.  How often have you cut a piece of cake in half because  you didn’t want the whole piece, only to eat the half you cut, plus the other remaining half?  Um.  Always.  That’s how often.

I’m getting off track here.  The point of this post is how to make your chicken look picture perfect. The way it does in a food magazine.

Like this …




There are 2 tools you need to achieve this look which will result in both pretty and fast chicken.

Soya Sauce

(also known as Soy Sauce)


and …

A Non Stick Grill Pan

(I took this picture POST chicken cooking so it’s dirty.  I don’t normally start with a dirty pan.  Unless I’m sleep-cooking or something)


Drizzle some Soya Sauce over your thinly sliced chicken and just mix it all up with your hands to coat the chicken.  You aren’t looking to really flavour the chicken with the Soya Sauce, you just want to coat it a bit for colour.

Because …



Once you grill the chicken on your grill pan, the Soya Sauce caramelizes from the heat and creates picture perfect grill marks.


The other benefit other than sheer aesthetics with this technique is your chicken cooks in about 2-4 minutes.  2 minutes or so on each side depending on how thick you slice it.

THAT is some pretty, fast chicken.  You can do this without using the Soya Sauce, it just helps a bit with the colouring.  If you have a good  grill pan, you’ll get some sort of grill marks regardless.

Faster than, dare I say, ordering pizza.  Granted.  Not nearly as delicious, but for some reason chicken really does taste better this way.



I cannot say enough about owning a non stick grill pan by the way.  It is one of the BEST inventions ever, surpassed only by the Whisper 2000, which was clearly a medical breakthrough right up there with the pacemaker and artificial limbs.

So, if you ever think to yourself … hmm … I wonder if I should buy a non stick grill pan, the answer is yes.

If you ever think to yourself … hmm … I wonder if I should buy an entire cake because I promise I’ll only eat one slice of it, the answer is no.


  1. Janet says:

    Wow! This post was really FULL of info today…from the beautiful chicken breast, Grill pan marvel and where to get it and recommendation of how much should be spent on it, white PT and TP (can one even find colored TP anymore? I thought they outlawed that or something),accent+ marking your letters, to the Whisper 2000 (which BTW, really wasn’t defined as to what it is and I can’t for the life of me remember what it is, and now have to use my investigative google powers to find out the answer. Did I miss anything? Info and a mystery all in one post, like I said….Wow! Thanks for all of it. Great way to wake up the brain cells, umm..besides coffee, of course.

  2. lorri adams says:

    This is great. Thank you for the laugh!!

  3. CJ says:

    PS I firmly agree with the notion that paper towels should only be white and extend that to toilet paper. Seriously, seahorses and clam shells on your toilet paper is a beyond unnecessary production step and is not decorating!

    • Paulina J! says:

      I third this motion of paper towels being only white. Why do I need spoons and forks to remind me of the kitchen or flowers to remind me that it’s spring… I could go on and on. The madness needs to stop!

  4. CJ says:

    This is cut and paste – I can’t get the shortcuts to work in the comment sections. The + means hold those keys down together then press the letter you want.

    à, è, ì, ò, ù,
    À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù
    CTRL+` (ACCENT GRAVE), the letter

    á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
    Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý
    CTRL+’ (APOSTROPHE), the letter

    â, ê, î, ô, û
    Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û
    CTRL+SHIFT+^ (CARET), the letter

    ã, ñ, õ
    Ã, Ñ, Õ
    CTRL+SHIFT+~ (TILDE), the letter

    ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ,
    Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ÿ
    CTRL+SHIFT+: (COLON), the letter

    å, Å
    [email protected], a or A

    æ, Æ
    CTRL+SHIFT+&, a or A

    œ, Œ
    CTRL+SHIFT+&, o or O

    ç, Ç
    CTRL+, (COMMA), c or C

    ð, Ð
    CTRL+’ (APOSTROPHE), d or D

    ø, Ø
    CTRL+/, o or O



    CTRL+SHIFT+&, s

    • Shauna says:

      You’re brilliant!
      Agreed on everything plain white – paper towels, toilet paper and regular towels and washcloths. I changed all my bathroom towels to white and told my husband not to use any of them for anything outdoors & promptly gave him all the old ones for outdoors. I think it took him all of one week to forget the rule and coming walking in with black dust all over my new white towels. I think I looked like one of those cartoon characters whose body, then face turn super red and then their head shoots off the top shooting angry steam. But, I digress…white is good.

  5. marné says:

    Lovely chicken!

    I accidentally bought PRINTED paper towels last week. They tear just fine, but I only like plain white paper towels. It was a super big pack, so I am going to be hating my paper towels for the next month or so. The current roll has red chili peppers on it :(

    • Karen says:

      Marne – First off all, how do you get the accent on your e? Second of all – my condolences on the paper towels. Paper towels and candles should only ever be white. ~ karen

  6. Kim says:

    Totally hilarious that you reference the Whisper 2000. Almost no one ever knows what I’m talking about when I’ve said it. Yes, it has come up in conversation…about what? I have no idea.

  7. Paulina J! says:

    Hilarious as usual! I had to Google the Whisper 2000 to see what it was. Woah! Please tell me you used one of those!! Does it really work?

    • Karen says:

      Paulina J! LOL, the Whisper 2000 was popular in the 80’s I think. My dad had one. No. It does NOT work. I think it’s just some sort of amplifier. Scam, scam. karen!

  8. Amy in StL says:

    I’ve noticed most of my recipes call for slicing the chicken up and I’ll bet it’s becaue it cooks faster. I hadn’t thought of that. Also glad to hear I’m not the only one who cuts stuff in half planning on only eating half. See, that’s why I go to Whole Foods and get a slice of cake rather than a whole one! Also, it’s awkward to bring a cake to work with a couple slices missing.

    • Cat says:

      Not just faster, more evenly too; you don’t have to worry about whether you want the thick end or the thin end cooked perfectly at the expense of the other.

  9. Mindy says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a giant chicken breast on the plate IS disgusting. Cut it. Slice it. Pound it. Hack it to bits for all I care. Just don’t put it on my plate in all it’s glory. Or I may just throw up in my mouth a little.

    • Shauna says:

      I totally agree! However, I have to buy the chicken filets that are already in nice little pieces because I also HATE cutting, touching, smelling raw chicken – blech!

  10. Taylor says:

    I’ve found that grill marks make EVERYTHING taste better :)

  11. Awesome! Those look gorgeous! Cutting them up is a great idea – I think I’m going to have to start doing that. The other day I was cooking chicken boobies and those suckers would NOT cook through. Plus – more surface area of grilled flava! Hell yeah!

  12. Pam says:

    Is Soya Sauce the same as Soy? It’s to early in the morning and I haven’t had coffee yet. Pretty chicken…

  13. Whitney says:

    I absolutely must have one of those amazing looking chicken makers! Where would you recommend a girl find a non stick grill pan of decent quality and even more decent price?

    • Alissa says:

      That’s what I was thinking! I’ve never heard of a grill pan before. What a cool idea!

      Karen, where can I get this awesome thing?

      Maybe you need to do a post on “awesome things Karen has that you’re totally gonna want”. Like onion goggles.

      • Karen says:

        Alissa & Whitney – You should be able to get a grill pan at any kitchen store. Even department stores should carry them in their kitchenwares department. I should warn you though, in my experience pots and pans are one of those areas where you really do “get what you pay for”. I think my grill pan was around $75. So definitely not cheap. However, I’ve had it for 5 years, use it constantly and it’s as good as new. No teflon loss, no warping and no handle wiggles. Discount stores like Homegoods/Homesense should also have a good priced grill pan in their kitchenwares section. I’d recommend spending $50 if you can swing it to get a better quality one. ~ karen!

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