Roasting and Baking Meats and Poultry
Roasting and baking methods cook foods by hot-air convection in an enclosed chamber. There are three basic methods for roasting and baking; slow-roasting, fast-roasting, and combination methods that use both slow and fast methods.
Slow Roasting - Generally between 200-300°F/93-148˚C, slow-roasting is beneficial for large cuts of meat or whole poultry because it produces a tender product while preserving moisture and yield. One disadvantage of this method is that it lacks the ability to create Maillard browning so the product is often seared before or after the actual roasting process.
Fast Roasting - Between 350-450°F/175-230°C, fast roasting rapidly cooks small items while developing color and texture.
Combination Method – The combination method uses high heat at the beginning or the end of the cooking process to create Maillard browning along with lower temperatures to properly cook the interior of the food. Ducks and geese are examples of items that are often started at a higher temperature to render the fat layer under their skins before finishing at a lower temperature.
Roasted items are seasoned to enhance their flavor and brushed with oil to prevent drying to crisp the exterior and to develop color. Brining, curing, and marinating boosts flavor, retains moisture, and act as a tenderizer for meats or poultry prior to roasting. Other complementary enhancements include herb, spice, bread crumb, or nut coatings. Small portion-cut items including fish fillets, pork tenderloin, or chicken breasts can be pan-seared, browned under a broiler, or caramelized with a blow-torch before finishing in the oven. Roasted items may be supplemented with aromatics like onions, celery, and carrots placed under the roast during cooking. The pan drippings can then be developed into a natural jus to serve with the roast.
Best Choice for Roasting and Baking: Beef and veal top round, lamb leg, fresh or cured ham, rib roast, loin roasts, whole tenderloin (beef, pork), pork ribs, a whole, halved, or portion cut poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose), whole fish, fish fillets, and fish loins, whole shellfish, lobster tails, crab legs
Accompaniments: Natural gravy, au jus, jus lié, sauce condiments (chimichurri, chermoula, salsa), classic small French brown or white sauces, béarnaise and hollandaise variations