There are lots of little methods of cooking that I think many home chefs do not totally understand. I speak from experience! (I have loved Joy the Baker’s Baking 101 series where she has been addressing common questions.)
Here is one kitchen question that has got me from time to time. Baking – covered or uncovered?
There are two primary considerations when deciding what to do with your dish – amount of liquid and density. When a dish is getting too browned on the outside and not cooked on the inside (it is dense), that’s a great time to cover it. If you want brown and crisped, leave it uncovered (at least for part of the bake time). Casseroles with grains or pastas (or in this case, potatoes) should be covered for the majority of their baking. Lasagna is a great example of this, as it is covered for most of the cooking, and then uncovered near the end for a nice golden top.
The second piece to consider is liquidity. If you want something to retain its liquids, keep it covered. Uncover it, however, if you’d like the fluids to bake out in the dry heat of the oven. And of course, every recipe is unique (and special in it’s own way. Just like a snowflake.) So experiment and always keep an eye out if you’re unsure.
LOADED BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE
4 russet potatoes, cubed
4 chicken breasts, uncooked and cubed
1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 and 1/2 cups cheddar
4 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter, sliced
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Stir to coat potatoes.
Mix in bacon, raw chicken, and cheddar.
Lay butter slices over casserole. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Top with green onion.
- 4 russet potatoes, cubed
- 4 chicken breasts, uncooked and cubed
- 1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 and ½ cups cheddar
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter, sliced
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Stir to coat potatoes. Mix in bacon, raw chicken, and cheddar.
- Lay butter slices over casserole. Season with salt & pepper.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Top with green onion.
Adapted from As Delicious As It Looks.