Roasting a small chicken is a simple endeavor that makes the basis for many a delicious meal and, Convection is the ideal mode to choose for roasting because of the superior moisture retention of Convection cooking. In a radiant heat oven the heating element is in the bottom of the oven and as the heat rises it has a drying effect on the food. In a Convection oven, the fan distributes the heat evenly around the oven in a horizontal pattern and the heat penetrates the food from the rim to the core. This strong driving heat circulating around food is one of the reasons that larger cuts of meat cook so much more quickly in the Convection mode.
The most important thing to remember however is that the chicken should be roasted on a rack in a shallow pan. When meats that take 40 minutes or longer to cook are placed directly on a pan the heat of the pan leeches the moisture out of the meat and unfortunately the fan will do a good job of splattering the juices all over the oven. When the chicken is roasted on a rack, the juices stay in the meat and the results are amazing.
4lb Chicken Roasting On A Rack In The Gaggenau Combi Steam Oven With A Broccoli Yellow Pepper Medley
It takes approximately an hour to roast a 4-5lb chicken in Convection and we don’t truss the chicken because when the legs swing free the heat can more easily penetrate the thickest part between the thigh and the breast. Remember to allow at least ten minutes resting time before carving the chicken and use a rimmed cutting board or place the board in a rimmed baking sheet to capture the juices.
As far as temperature is concerned I find that roasting the chicken for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes works well. However you can do it the opposite way and crank up the heat at the end to crisp the skin, just remember there will be rendered fat in the bottom of the pan and that will start to crackle, pop and splatter when exposed to high heat. We have definitely found that seasoning the chicken a day in advance makes for a very flavorful chicken and we avoid rubbing olive oil into the chicken because it creates too much smoking during the initial high heat part of the cooking process.
Now if your oven offers you a choice of Convection modes, True Convection, Convection Bake and Convection Roast you will be wondering which mode to choose. I always choose Convection Roast because it is the most powerful mode but if you choose one of the other Convection modes it will cook equally well it just might take a bit longer. Remember when you roast in Convection you can always cook several other racks of food at the same time so make it easy on yourself and plan to cook the entire meal in Convection.