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Cooking Chicken Through Convection

Q. What do I need to know before I start cooking chicken breasts in a convection oven?

—racso, via FineCooking.com’s CooksTalk forum

A. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are the most popular to cook, but because there is so little fat, they easily can be overcooked and become dry. If you cook at a high temperature (400-450°F), cooking time will only be 15-20 minutes. At a lower temp (325-375°F), 25-30 minutes is a good guideline. Obviously, this depends on the thickness of your poultry.

I use either convection roast or convection bake when cooking chicken breasts. If using your own recipe and you want to adapt to convection, start by reducing the temperature by 25°F. The cooking time, since it’s already short, will probably be roughly the same, although you need to start checking for doneness earlier. I like to cook chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan lined with foil or parchment paper.

For more details on cooking with convection, read Susie Middleton’s Better Cooking Through Convection, visit our special section In the Kitchen, and watch a video detailing how convection ovens work.
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