My preferred order of cooking methods look like this: braising, grilling, sautéing and roasting. Most people probably tend to either grill or just throw some food in the oven for a poor attempt of roasting it. Don’t be fooled my friends, roasting is an art and is probably the easiest to perfect for some superb results. When a protein of some sort is sauteed in the restaurant world it is usually finished in the oven for further caramelization and roasting. Chefs and cooks do this not because it is a cheap way out but because you have more control, and have heat coming from all directions instead of just from the bottom (which is probably why you burn so much food on the stove top anyways). If something needs to be pretty well cooked through i.e. chicken, most fish, pork (medium in temperature), then I will most likely start by sautéing it in a little olive oil to sear in all the flavors and juices and simply finish cooking it in the oven.
Of course you don’t have to saute anything first, you can always just place it right in the oven and let it roast. So how do you do this you ask?! Simple, start by coating what you would like to cook in olive oil and of course any seasonings you would like spice it up with. I choose olive oil because of it’s low smoking point and ability to cook for longer periods in the oven without burning. Ok so now that your food item is coated in olive oil and seasonings place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and place it in the oven on bake at 350° to 375° or on convection at 325° to 350°. The cooking times will obviously completely depend on what it is you are cooking, but take refuge in the fact that at low temperatures and using olive oil will help control burning. In fact it will probably take a bit longer to roast than most food items but it’s also one of the most controlled methods of cooking as well! If you have any food related questions connect with me at facebook.com/chefbillyparisi or at twitter.com/chefbillyparisi.