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I'm quite embarrassed.

I tried to copy the way my daughter bakes chicken legs in the oven with vegetables and baby potatoes. First I put the potatoes in after washing without drying them first then I already had the vegetables in the baking pan. Then I put the chicken directly on to top of the potatoes and vegetables, but I put everything in the oven before the oven had preheated long enough.

So I ended up cooking everything for 1.5 hours and the chicken legs reached 180F but everything was steamed instead of baked crispy.

Can I fix it?

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    I'd try making it into soup! Dec 12, 2022 at 21:04

1 Answer 1

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At the risk of (slightly) overcooking, yes you can crisp that up.

First, you open the oven door wide and let all remaining steam escape. Then, you switch on only the broiler and place the rack on one of the lower shelves, probably second from the bottom (assuming a standard size oven), close the door again and start watching like a hawk. Problem is, your dish can go from soggy to burnt in less than two minutes, a lower shelf will somewhat mitigate that. So if your oven has a glass door, watching is easy. If not, you need to peek inside very often, once you start to see the first browning, I would check every 30 seconds, tops. In case of doubt, take the tray out sooner rather than later, the browning is not linear.

Of course I am sure you dish is delicious as is too - so you may as well serve it as “steamed chicken and vegetables” and try for a crispy result next time. A few helpful tips you already figured out, a few more would be to avoid overcrowding the pan and if you notice excessive moisture in the oven, to open the door wide once (or even a few times) for about half a minute to let the steam escape.

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  • Excellent advice. I deleted my earlier answer because it's less authoritative than Stephie's. Dec 12, 2022 at 7:36
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    I have an older oven, and leave the door open slightly while broiling. It gives me a much better view than through the window. It also prevents any new steam buildup
    – Joe
    Dec 12, 2022 at 9:59
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    I'd also perhaps brush the chicken with some fat (oil/butter) to get better / faster browning and crispiness.
    – Luciano
    Dec 12, 2022 at 14:29
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    @Luciano depends on how fatty the skin was and how much has rendered out already. In any case, a little will go a lot way.
    – Stephie
    Dec 12, 2022 at 15:11
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    @IsmaelMiguel depends on what the cook wants to achieve? Separate skin won’t keep its shape, so you couldn’t really fit it back on. And there won’t be a crisp on the veggies. Of course you can always pull out the kitchen blowtorch, but that needs a whole different level of finesse.
    – Stephie
    Dec 14, 2022 at 14:52

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