4 chicken breasts, split or boned (you can also use a whole chicken, cut up)
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup creme fraiche
Clean and dry the chicken. Remove the skin if you wish. Rub each piece with a touch of salt, and lots of pepper and creme fraiche. Put the pieces into a shallow pan and cover them with the remaining creme fraiche. Let the chicken marinate cold until 1/2 hour before serving. You can marinate the chicken up to 3 days if you wish, but cover it tight to keep other refrigerator tastes out of the creme fraiche.
Preheat your broiler. Toss the chicken pieces in the creme fraiche once more. Lay them on the rack of your broiler pan, bone side down if they are unboned. You must use a rack in your broiler pan so that chicken can steam on the bottom side. Pour the creme fraiche remaining in the marinating pan over the pieces. Broil the chicken at 2 1/2 inches from the heat on one side only until many crispy, brown spots dot the surface and the bottom side of the pieces is white, 6 to 10 minutes (if I'm using whole, cut-up chicken parts with skin, I position the broiler rack about 5 inches from the heat--PKS). If you broil the chicken too close to the heat its top side will brown before the underside steams white. Serve immediately.
You can broil other cuts of chicken with this method, but you have to broil them on both sides. Do the leanest of boney side first for 4 or 5 minutes. Do not cook the lean side to crispy brown spots. Turn it over and cook the second side until it has crispy brown spots.
"This is the most moist chicken ever," says Paula Wolfert, and she recommends using this technique for quickly preparing chicken for chicken salad. You can omit the marinating, but thoroughly cover the chicken with creme fraiche. It keeps the broiling chicken moist.