You may think searing, as in "seared tuna," means raw in the middle. Not true: Searing simply means cooking the outside of meat, fish and poultry over very hot heat, and then finishing the cooking by another method. Searing on the grill creates a crisp, flavorful exterior and moist, wonderful interior, locking in flavor without adding fat.
1. Place chicken on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken 45 degrees, without flipping, and cook for another two minutes (this produces crosshatch grill marks).
2. Flip and repeat on the other side.
3. If the food needs further cooking, move it to a cooler spot on the grill and close the lid. (Very thin pieces of meat, fish and poultry will cook through in searing steps one and two and may not need further cooking.)
Butterflying and Skewering
Butterflying is a technique that opens up thick pieces of meat, shellfish and poultry so the meat cooks more quickly and evenly, and the shrimp is kept from curling up. Skewering shrimp (or any meat or vegetable) is a timesaver because you won't have to flip each piece individually.
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1. To butterfly, lay a peeled shrimp on its side and, using a sharp knife, make a slice from about 1/4-inch from the tail through the inside curl, almost through to the other side but without cutting the shrimp in half.
2. With your fingers, open the shrimp and flatten it with the palm of your hand so it lies almost flat.
3. Skewer butterflied shrimp sideways, rather than lengthwise, so the skewer runs from one side of the butterfly to the other. When using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes before using to prevent scorching.
4. Place shrimp on a hot grill for two to three minutes and turn the skewer over. Cook two to three more minutes until shrimp is bright pink and cooked through.
Serve with a Side of Salsa
Don't just limit yourself to the jarred tomato stuff: salsa can be made from a variety of fruits and vegetables and is a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats or fish. It also gives you a hefty dose of disease-fighting antioxidants.
One combo that goes equally well with chicken as it does with fish such as salmon or tuna: mangoes, peaches and chilies. Simply chop the ingredients and let them sit refrigerated while you grill. Then serve atop your dish.