There aren’t many things the domestic cook can imagine she has invented herself. But I do think I have made a discovery about roasting chicken: at least I’d never read about it or seen anyone do it. The problem usually is that breast and thighs cook at a different rate, so that if one is cooked perfectly,the other won’t be. It’s a choice between undercooked thighs or overcooked breast. The traditional answers – lots of basting, messing about with foil, putting liquid in the roasting pan and so on – don’t work and waste a lot of time.
The answer is simple. Cut the legs off .Roast them in the same pan with the mutilated body of the chicken. All you need is a little olive oil and salt on the skin. About 50 minute roasting in a fan oven at 175C, depending on size, will produce a chicken that is perfectly cooked all over. Basting is not necessary It will need at least 10 minutes’ resting. You can do this with any kind of bird, from a large turkey to small partridge. It also makes carving easier and quicker. And there’s nothing to stop you putting herbs or lemons in the cavity, or doing any of the other countless things that people do to add flavour.