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Old 05-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Temperature for baking chicken

A lot of the recipes I've seen for baked chicken say to bake at 350 for 40 minutes. I baked chicken thighs that way tonight, and the meat came out kind of tough. I would love some suggestions for how to bake chicken so the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and tender. A chef I know suggests baking at a lower temperature, but I thought i'd see what folks here on the forum have to say.

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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I do chicken at 400F. Rather than time I go by temperature. Dark meat is better at an internal temperature of 185F.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
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I would say you can roast anywhere from 275-425f the cooler temps make a chewier denser meat and moister skin (like turkey should be). The high temps render the fat and make it crispy without the prevalant fat layer. The meat has the muscles more defined and maybe a bit tougher but still juicy after letting rest.

On edit: I usually do 400 like andy but my spices get a little dark sometimes.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:25 PM   #4
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Thanks! How many minutes would you bake chicken thighs at 400?
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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i'm not sure why i keep reading the thread titles so literally tonight, but my response would be 98.6.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #6
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I have come to think of baking chicken in the simplest possible terms, applying the simplest preparation and baking scheme. This attitude comes from baking pieces in preparation for using them in stock. One day, I decided I'd like to combine the stock making with a simple chicken meal preparation. I use thighs. They have a nice bit of continuous meat and a thick and even cross-section. I just toss them in olive oil and salt both sides and lay them out on a baking sheet in a 400F oven for a hour and twenty minutes, turning them halfway along. They come out every time browned and tender. If I leave the skin on, it is nicely done, but I usually pull it off, an easy operation with thighs, and add it to the stock later. I snatch four for the meal that night. The rest of the "family pack" goes into the stock put with the vegetables for four or five hours. I cannot say that I consider any other chicken better than this.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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I think the thigh question depends on how many and how close they are packed in the dish. If your cooking 8-9 big thighs packed in a 9x13 then an hour should be about right. If your cooking four smaller in 8x8 than 45 minutes is closer. Depends on your oven and pan too. Learn what to look for. Clear juices and a firm texture!
The clock is kinda irrelavent and not foolproof.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:04 PM   #8
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I think you need to look at roasting chicken as a time-temperature envelope. Picture a graph of temperature vs. time. Or add a third dimension of doneness to get a 3D envelope. Outside of the envelope it will be undercooked or overcooked. Inside it will be cooked to varying interpretations of rare to well done. The envelope is influenced by how you prepare the chicken, for example skinless vs. skin on vs. coated with something.

Like Andy I use a meat thermometer to determine when mine is done. Get your initial values from the Internet or other sources, then adjust them depending on your own tastes and preferences. Cook to a higher temperature if it was too rare, cook to a lower temperature if it was too dry and tough.

4me had a very good reply and I agree with the analysis.

I'm surprised GLC could get by with 80 minutes at 400. In my experience that would be too done in my oven. Maybe different doneness preferences or different oven calibrations.

I usually use about 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. But I generally prefer my chicken a bit less well done than most people.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:28 AM   #9
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In my mind chicken should be roasted, not baked. You bake cookies cakes and casseroles at lower temperatures but whole chickens or parts of chicken with the skin on must be roasted at higher temps to get good results. I never roast chicken at less than 400, and often 425 degrees. Your instant read digital thermometer is your friend until you become comfortable with cooking times.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:29 AM   #10
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i think a good,accurate oven thermometer & the resting time for the meat are the most important factors here.whatever the dial says all ovens vary & it also depends on whether its fan assisted or convection.also depends on whether it's straight from the fridge or room temperature.i always allow meat to come up to room temp before cooking.
i roast whole chicken @ 440f(fan),20 mins/pound,rest for 15 mins/pound.skin is always browned & the meat moist.
but that's just me & my oven!
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