When roasting a whole chicken in the Steam Oven there are several things to consider; one, a characteristic of Convection is moisture retention and two you are cooking with additional humidity. This means your chicken will be incredibly flavorful and juicy but the skin will not be especially crispy. The best way to get some good color on the chicken and render a somewhat crisp finish is as follows.
1 - 4-5lb whole chicken
1 - scant teaspoon Kosher salt
1 - scant teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 - teaspoons olive oil
4 - sprigs fresh thyme
Combine the seasoning and oil and rub onto the chicken. Place the thyme sprigs in the cavity and thread a metal skewer through the legs to balance the chicken.
To ensure even cooking it’s best not to tie the legs too close to the body.
Step 1. Begin cooking the chicken in the Convection Mode 425 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.
Step 2. Change the oven Mode to Convection Steam 350 degrees and cook the chicken for an additional 40 - 45 minutes or until the juices run clear.
You can reverse the process if you prefer but be sure to drain off the pan juices first to avoid excessive splattering.
Several other important tips for success are:
Always roast whole poultry on a rack in a shallow pan; this allows circulating Convection heat to evenly penetrate the bird from the edge to the core and prevents the juices from being leached out.
Always factor in time for resting before carving and don’t be alarmed if you see some red bone around the joints, this is another characteristic of the moisture retention, just make sure the meat is cooked through.
Remember you can always put the carved chicken pieces back into the Steam Oven at a low temperature 250 degrees in the Convection Steam Mode for a few minutes and the red will dissipate.