Help me roast chicken parts to keep them moist
Ok, so here are the variables...I've got bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs). I want to roast them, probably seasoned with italian seasonings, and drizzled with melted butter. But I'm not sure of a few things...do I do it covered, uncovered, or start with with and go to the other? What temp? I know I can start a whole chicken at about 450 for a bit and then lower to 375 for the duration, but is that ok for parts?? I'm looking for simple but good and tender chicken.
Thanks in advance for your advice!!
I've always felt that for parts, they should be done uncovered in a shallow roasting pan. Let me repeat that, shallow roasting pan. The difference in savory golden brown and deliciousness that you'll get between a traditional deep roasting pan that protects the parts from the heat, and a shallow sheet cake pan-type is mind boggling.
(I've also begun giving them a light sprinkling of dry milk powder, just a bit, it helps with the browning and you don't taste the milk if you give it a light hand.)
Second, if you have the time, I'd do a dry brine. Just salt them, let 'em sit in the fridge uncovered for a day, and the flavor and texture will be vastly improved, with that irresistible crunchy skin. Ooh la la!
Other than that, I'd go with any recipe from Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa for roasting parts on the bone, which she seems to do on every third TV program. :)
I take the opposite approach that RelishPDX does when it comes to roasting chicken. Many folks consider crispy skin to be very important, whereas I don't. So I do chicken parts in a deeper roasting dish and cover with foil. Salt and pepper, and that's it. I'm actually cooking 4 bone-in chicken breasts tonight, and they'll go in a Pyrex baking dish, covered tightly with foil, at 350, for about 30 to 40 minutes. The meat comes out very moist. Often I'll save the juice in the bottom of the pan and use that as a flavor enhancer for rice, or as the base for a sauce. It's thin, but chickeny flavored.
If you don't care about the skin, then this method is easy, foolproof, and delivers a very moist meat. If you want crispy skin, it takes more work, and you definitely need to go uncovered, as Relish suggests.