Chances are you are overcooking your food.
In most cooking lessons I give, my students get a little nervous when I take half-cooked shrimp off the stove or chicken that is still a little pink out of the oven. Invariably, though, the food turns out just right.
Why? After food is removed from heat, it continues to cook an additional five to fifteen degrees. This is the principle of carryover cooking. There is enough residual heat within the food item (and in the pan if you leave the food in it) to finish the cooking process.
Overcooking leads to dry foods that are both less flavorful and nutritious than their moist counterparts.
So the next time you cook, try taking your food off the stove or out of the oven several minutes before you would normally. Let it rest for a few minutes and you’ll be rewarded with juicier chicken and crisper vegetables. (You can always cook food a little more, but there’s no saving a hamburger that’s a stunt double for a hockey puck.)