Chicken with smoked oyster stuffing

I was meant to be going to New Orleans early next month, but unfortunately that trip’s been postponed until next year (chiz chiz chiz). I’m meant to be writing about the place, and about its unique food culture; New Orleans is the least American of American cities, and has a cuisine unlike anything else you’ll find in the US. That cuisine is influenced by the fertile land and sea surrounding the city, and also by the mix of cultures and ethnicities that called the city home – African, French, Acadian (or Cajun) and Creole flavours coming together to create something you simply won’t find elsewhere.

To console myself over my postponed trip, I decided to invent a chicken stuffing along the lines of something you might see in Louisiana (if you squint a bit). This stuffing is gorgeous – it employs the so-called “holy trinity” of green bell peppers, celery and onion as a base, with garlicky, cheesy bread croutons which retain their crunch through the cooking, some typical Louisiana spicing, and a little tin of smoked oysters, chopped finely, to give the whole dish a warm, smoky background. You may think you don’t like smoked oysters – they look pretty unprepossessing, and they can taste a bit strong when used on toast or as canapés – but in this dish they just give the stuffing and the meat of the bird a wonderfully rich, umami smokiness. Surprisingly (totally) un-fishy. The recipe will make enough to stuff a 1.5kg bird and to prepare a separate tray of the stuffing to serve with the meal – you’ll want a separate tray, because it’s totally delicious.

To serve 4 (with some leftovers for sandwiches tomorrow, if you’re lucky), you’ll need:

1 plump chicken, weighing around 1.5kg (use a larger bird if you like – there will be enough stuffing, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time)
½ loaf white bread (unsliced)
4 grated cloves garlic
20g grated parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions
1 green pepper
2 sticks celery
1 large knob butter
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 teaspoon ground chipotle peppers (use cayenne pepper if you can’t find chipotles)
1 large handful (25g) parsley
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 small tin smoked oysters
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Take the chicken out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Dry the skin well and snip any fat you find inside the cavity out of the bird – either discard it or render it down in a dry frying pan to make schmaltz to use for another recipe. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) for the croutons.

Remove the crusts from the bread and chop the white part into cubes about 2cm on each side (a large-ish crouton is nice here, the outside turning crisp and the inside retaining a bit of squashiness). Arrange the croutons on a baking sheet – they should cover the bottom in one layer. If you find you have more space, chop a few more croutons out of the remains of the loaf. Grate the garlic into the olive oil, mix well and drizzle over the croutons. Toss them well in the oil so every side is covered with the garlicky mixture, then sprinkle over the parmesan and toss again. Bake in the hot oven for ten minutes until golden, but start checking after eight minutes – these are quite easy to burn. Turn the oven temperature up to 230°C (450° F) and set the finished croutons aside.

You can start on the other stuffing ingredients while the croutons are cooking. Chop the celery, onions and pepper finely and fry off in a generous knob of butter with the spices, keeping everything in the frying pan on the move, until the onions are turning golden, as in the picture. Remove the contents of the pan to a large mixing bowl, and add the chopped parsley, the juice and zest of the lemon, the drained and finely chopped oysters and the soy sauce. Fold the croutons into this mixture and taste it for seasoning – you may not find you need any salt, but a generous amount of pepper is good here. Stuff the chicken with the mixture, using toothpicks to hold the flaps of skin at the end of the chicken closed. There will be plenty of stuffing left over; put it in a small baking dish and keep to one side until the end of the chicken’s cooking time.

Rub the chicken with plenty of salt and roast it, covered with a piece of tin foil, for 1 hour and 20 minutes, removing the foil and adding the stuffing dish for the last 15 minutes. Prick the chicken at the fattest part of its thigh at the end of the cooking time to check it’s done – the juices should run clear. If they are pink, get the stuffing tray out of the oven and keep it in a warm place, and give the chicken another 10 minutes in the oven, repeating the prick test at the end of this time. Make gravy from the pan juices and a splash of stock and white wine if you fancy some lubrication, and scatter the chicken and stuffing with fresh herbs of your choice – I used some Cypriot basil and some parsley. The stuffing and chicken are fantastic with a tart salad, sautéed potatoes and lemon wedges.

Garlic butter roast chicken

I’m back in Portland for the week (and I’m spending the next few weeks in the US too, so look forward to some restaurant reviews). I’ve a couple of recipes from last week to post, and in the meantime I am applying myself assiduously to Portland’s fantastic cafés, in order that I can supply those of you who visit the city with a good round-up of places to pootle around in an intellectual fashion, getting caffeinated and taking advantage of free wireless internet.

Anyway. The chicken. This is a chicken flash-cooked at a very high temperature with a garlic butter under the skin. This technique results in a moist, juicy bird which you don’t need to baste or turn, and a gorgeously crisp, garlicky skin. The pan juices are fantastic for making a gravy with, but they’re also delicious just drizzled over the carved chicken as they are.

The cooking time below will be good for a bird weighing about 1.5kg (3lb) – enough to serve three or four people. To roast one chicken, you’ll need:

1 chicken weighing about 1.5kg
5 large, juicy cloves of garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
125 g softened salted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 230°C (450° F). Crush the garlic (I used something called a Garlic Card – a little grating device the size of a credit card which my mother-in-law Santa gave me for Christmas), zest the lemon and chop the parsley, and blend them with the butter using the back of a fork.

Starting at the neck of the chicken, use your fingers to loosen the skin from the breast. You should be able to separate it from the flesh by pushing with your fingertips until you’ve made a pocket that covers the whole breast. Take the softened garlic butter mixture and push it into the pocket you’ve made, making sure it covers the breast evenly. Reserve two teaspoons of the butter, and push them into the space between the bird’s legs and body. Salt the outside of the bird generously and drizzle it with olive oil.

Put the chicken on a baking tray high in the hot oven, and roast for one hour. Check that the chicken is cooked by pushing a skewer into the fattest part of the bird, just behind the thigh. The juices should run clear; if they are still pinkish (which is highly unlikely), roast for another ten minutes and repeat the test.

Rest the bird for ten minutes before carving. I served this with Pommes Sarladaise, a wonderful garlicky French potato dish – watch this space for the recipe!

Hoi sin beer can chicken

This is an extremely tasty hybrid – American barbecue crossed with Chinese roast chicken. Regular readers may already have read my original beer can chicken post, and it’s worth glancing at it again for more on this cooking method, which is one of my favourites for roasting chicken. A can of beer is – how can I say this delicately? – rammed up the chicken’s bottom, and steams the bird from the inside while the outside roasts to a lovely crisp.

Usually, I make chicken cooked in this way with an American-style dry rub. This time, I’ve made a Chinese paste to marinade and cook the bird in, and I’m very pleased with the results. I served this with some steamed rice and sweetly stir-fried carrot and courgettes – about which you can read more later in the week.

To roast one chicken to toothsome perfection you’ll need:

1 chicken weighing around 1.5 kilogrammes
4 tablespoons hoi sin sauce
3 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 piece of ginger about the size of your thumb
3 cloves garlic
1 can lager

Make a paste from the hoi sin, two teaspoons of the five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and the ginger and garlic, grated. Rub it all over the chicken, both inside and out. Leave to marinade for at least three hours (I left mine overnight).

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), pour half of the can of beer into a glass and drink it, and use a hammer and nail to knock a few holes in the top of the can alongside the ringpull. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of five-spice powder into the can (be careful – it will fizz extravagantly, so do this over the sink). Put the can in the centre of a roasting tin. Cut the string holding the chicken’s legs together, pull them apart so it looks like it’s standing up, and push the upright chicken firmly onto the can. I use a very cheap stand, whose wires I’ve bent so you can fit them round the can, when I roast chicken this way – it helps keep the whole apparatus from falling over while it cooks.

There is little dignity in death for chickens.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 30 minutes (if you have a large enough barbecue with readily controlled temperature, cook it in there instead of the oven), and remove carefully from the can. Pour away the beer in the can – it doesn’t taste great. Rest the chicken in a warmed dish for ten minutes – it will produce plenty of delicious juices to go with any that have dripped into the roasting tin during cooking. Whisk the juices together with a teaspoon of sesame oil, and pour over the carved chicken. Garnish with some chopped spring onion and serve.

Sage and onion roast chicken with gravy and crispy sage leaves

I’ve been experimenting with roast chickens. You’ll notice that the method here is rather different from other roast chicken recipes on this site; this time I’m getting you to stuff a buttery mixture under the skin and then blast the chicken at a very high temperature for a much shorter cooking time than usual. I’m amazed at the difference this makes to the finished product. The skin is crisp and flavourful – absolutely the best I’ve ever achieved on a roast bird – and the flesh is incredibly juicy and moist, taking on flavour from the butter, herb and shallot mixture, but requiring no basting or turning upside-down and juggling in the oven.

I had a great email conversation over Christmas with an American gentleman in Japan who was wondering about typically English flavours to cook his Christmas goose with. Sage and onion is one of the classic English mixtures, and here it goes to make a boring old chicken really festive. I’d be very happy serving this as a Christmas dinner for people who (like me) don’t go a bundle on turkey. The gravy here is also typically English – it’s thickened with flour and makes a lovely, glossy, boozy glaze for the meat. I served a side of mashed potato with this to soak up lots of the gravy (because mashed potato and gravy is one of the best things in the world, right up there with sex and roller coasters), some easy stuffing balls to reflect the sage and onion flavours, and a really tart salad to cut through all the lovely butter.

To roast one chicken weighing about three pounds (around 1.5 kg), which should serve three or four, you’ll need:

1 chicken
1 lemon
2 small (round) shallots or 1 large (banana) shallot
125 g (¼ lb) softened salted butter
12 fresh sage leaves
2 medium onions
Salt and pepper

1½ dessert spoons flour
1 small glass dry white wine
100 ml chicken stock

Sage leaves
8 sage leaves
Olive oil to fry

Chicken method
Preheat the oven to a blistering 230°C (450° F). Dice the shallots as finely as possible – think micro-dice – using your sharpest knife, and combine them thoroughly in a bowl with the zest of the lemon, a teaspoon of salt and the butter. Use your fingers and the back of a teaspoon to separate the skin over the breast of the chicken from the muscle, starting at the bottom (leg) end of the bird, where the cavity opens. You should be able to make a large pocket between skin and flesh over each breast. Use fingers to stuff this pocket with all but two teaspoons of the soft butter, then slide six whole sage leaves under the skin as well, on top of the butter mixture. Push the remaining two teaspoons of butter and two more sage leaves into the space where the chicken’s legs meet the body.

Chop the zested lemon in half and slice the onions roughly. Remove any lumps of fat from inside the chicken and discard. Push half the lemon and half an onion into the chicken’s cavity with four more sage leaves and some salt and pepper. Make a pile of the onion pieces in the centre of your roasting tin and balance the chicken on top, then rain another teaspoon of salt all over the skin of the bird and roast for an hour.

When the hour is up, use a skewer to poke into the fattest part of the chicken’s thigh. If the juices run clear, remove from the oven; if there is any pinkness, return the bird to the oven for another ten minutes and repeat. Remove the chicken to a warmed platter and leave it in a warm place to rest for ten minutes while you make the gravy and the crispy sage leaves.

Gravy method
Pour any juices from the cavity of the chicken into a small frying pan over a medium flame, along with all the fat, juices and onion bits from the roasting tin. Do not discard any of the flavourful butter and fat from the roasting tin – if you feel guilty after having overdone it at Christmas, go for a run tomorrow rather than deprive yourself of flavour here.

Bring the contents of the pan up to a gentle simmer, and sprinkle over the flour. Use a wooden spoon, making tiny circles in the pan, to work the flour into the fatty mixture until no floury lumps are visible. (There will be onion pieces and bits of chicken kicking around in there – these are fine; you just don’t want any floury bits.)

The liquid in the pan will start to thicken dramatically. Pour over the glass of wine and continue to stir for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol. Pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir for a couple more minutes, then taste for seasoning. Tip in any juices which the chicken has released while resting, and get someone to start carving.

Sage leaves method
These are as easy as anything. Just heat the oil in a little pan and throw in the sage leaves for a few seconds. They will frizzle and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle over the carved chicken.

Devilled chicken

Devilling is a Victorian technique for resurrecting drab leftovers. It involves making a spicy paste from mustard, Indian chutney and other storecupboard standards, dressing cold, roast meats with the paste, then grilling until the whole confection is hot. The Victorians were wont to devil anything they could get their hands on; breakfast kidneys were devilled, eggs, hams, mutton chops: let’s be honest here. It was really a way to disguise food which was a bit elderly and didn’t taste that great any more.

In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell describes some devilled chicken which “tasted like saw-dust”. The cook must have been low on mustard that day. Disraeli’s curiously awful Sybill describes the requirement for a cool glass of water with spicy devilled biscuits (I am still not quite clear on how precisely you’re meant to devil a biscuit – he probably meant that the biscuits were heavy on the chillies). These days, we don’t really use this technique much any more, although I do remember a home economics class at school which culminated with a slightly boingy hard-boiled egg piped full of a gritty orange yolk, mayonnaise and raw spice mixture. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t devilled anything since.

Never say never. Having mentally consigned devilled-anything to the ‘unlikely to be delicious’ pile, I found myself browsing through some of my antique recipe books at the weekend (a very cheap obsession, should you get bitten by the collecting bug; they’re usually available for pennies in bric a brac shops and they’re fascinating; who knew that powdered millipedes were good in a sort of soup for hysteria?) and read through a devilled chicken recipe. It actually sounded pretty good. I looked up another one. It sounded fantastic. Time to swallow my prejudice and get devilling. All the same, I decided to roast the chicken specifically for the dish rather than using leftovers. It was amazingly and unreservedly good, and it’s going to become a regular on our supper table. To devil my four chicken leg and thigh joints (these are almost always the bits left over when you have a roast) I made sure that unlike Mrs Gaskell, I didn’t skimp on the mustard, and that like Disraeli, I had a cold glass of water standing by. You’ll need:

4 chicken thigh and drumstick joints, pre-roasted or raw (see below)
1 ½ generous tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoons good Indian chutney. I used Patak’s brinjal (aubergine) pickle, but any good mango chutney or similar will also be excellent here.
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A generous amount of pepper and salt
Flour (optional)

I realise this ingredients list sounds pretty peculiar. Persevere with it; Victorian flavours can seem oddly foreign to modern palates, but remain extremely good.

If your chicken is raw, put it in a roasting tin and roast, drizzled with plenty of salt, pepper and olive oil, at 180° C (350° F) for 40 minutes until crisp and golden, and set aside in the roasting tin to cool. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, just place it in the cold roasting tin and start cooking the sauce.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the mustard, chutney, chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce until you have a thick paste. Remove from the heat. Cut deep diagonal gashes into the meat of the chicken, with another set of gashes across them. Push the paste into the slits in the meat, and spread it generously all over the skin of the chicken. If there’s any paste left, put a dollop under each chicken joint.

Place the roasting tin under the grill about 4 inches from the flame, and grill for 10 minutes until the paste is starting to brown and the meat is hot. André Simon suggests dredging the chicken pieces with flour after you’ve smeared them with the paste in order to achieve a crispy finish. You might want to try this if you’re using yesterday’s chicken, but chicken you’ve just cooked should have a lovely crisp skin underneath the paste, so extra crispiness isn’t really necessary.

Serve with buttered rice or new potatoes and a sharply dressed salad.

Honey-mustard roast chicken

Roast chickenThis is a very easy and totally delicious way to roast a chicken. The honey-mustard baste keeps the flesh moist and plump, and dribbles into a bed of roast onions which caramelises to a sticky sweetness. The skin on a chicken cooked like this is fantastic – crisp and honeyed with a lovely zing from the baste.

To roast one medium chicken you’ll need:

1 roasting chicken
1 lemon
5 onions
1 handful fresh parsley
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 heaped tablespoon whole-grain mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
2 heaped tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 190° C (357° F).

Remove any excess fat from the inside of the chicken and discard. Zest the lemon and put the zest aside in a bowl, then slice the lemon in half and push it into the cavity of the chicken with one halved onion and the parsley. Chop the remaining onions roughly and use them to make a little mound to stand the chicken on in the bottom of your roasting tin.

Add the soya sauce, both mustards and the honey to the lemon zest in the bowl and mix well. Put two tablespoons of the mixture inside the chicken and place the bird on top of the onions. Smear another two tablespoons over the outside of the bird. (Don’t worry about making sure the baste gets on the onion base – it will drizzle over them in just the right quantity as you baste the chicken.)

Roast chickenCover the chicken with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting with a little of the honey-mustard mix every twenty minutes or so. After the 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove the tin foil from the bird and turn the heat up to 210° C (410° F). Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, checking that the skin browns but does not char (keep an eye on it and replace the tin foil if you feel it’s getting too brown). Remove from the oven, rest for ten minutes (the chicken will produce lots of savoury juices) and serve with the roast onions from the bottom of the pan, roast potatoes and a green vegetable.

Beer can chicken

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this is a chicken with a can of Guinness bunged up its how-do-you-say. With a dry rub, it’s a brilliant, if slightly obscene way to cook chicken. The beer, flavoured with some of the spicy rub, steams the chicken from inside, resulting in a juicy, delicate flesh, while the skin cooks to a crackling, caramelised crispness.

My friend Lorna pointed me at this extraordinarily cheap roasting stand from Amazon when I complained that my beer can often threatens to topple when I make this dish. It’s worth spending a couple of pounds on a stand like this (bend one of the wire loops to fit the can onto the little dish; it’ll keep the chicken nice and sturdy along with the can). If you don’t own a stand, just make sure that the chicken is resting levelly on the can. Don’t be fooled into using the chicken’s legs to balance the beast – they’ll shrink and change shape when they cook.

To roast one rude-looking chicken to perfect succulence you’ll need:

1 plump chicken without giblets
1 can of beer
2 heaped tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder (I like powdered chipotles for this, but you can use cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon salt
3 heaped tablespoons soft dark brown sugar

Snip through any strings holding the chicken’s legs neatly together, and spread them out. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and rub them all over the chicken, then add a tablespoon of the rub to the cavity of the chicken and smear it around a bit with the back of a spoon. Leave for the flavours to penetrate for two hours at room temperature. Meanwhile, open the beer can, pour half of the beer out and drink it. (This is a fun recipe.) Use a metal skewer or a nail and hammer to make a few more holes in the top of the half-full beer can.

Put a tablespoon of the remaining rub in the can with the beer. It will froth and bubble, so add your rub carefully. After the two hours are up, rub any remaining spice mix onto the chicken and push the bird carefully, bottom (that’s the end with the legs) first, onto the upright beer can, as in the picture. Roast the whole apparatus at 180° C (350° F) for 1 hour and 30 minutes, remove the bird carefully from the can without spilling any beer, and rest for ten minutes before serving. (If you are a lucky person with a large and easily controlled barbecue, try cooking the chicken in there over some flavourful wood – it’ll be delicious.)

Don’t be tempted to use the hot beer as a sauce. It’ll taste bitter and revolting, so just pour it down the sink. Let the chicken’s natural juices (there will be plenty, and they’ll come out of the bird as it rests) act as a gravy. This is a great dish with a salad and a pilaf or cous cous. Serve with a couple of nicely chilled cans of whatever beer you used in the cooking.

If you’d like to try a different take on beer can chicken, I’ve come up with a recipe for a slightly Chinese-ified version too – enjoy!

One-dish roast chicken, potatoes and accompaniments

Certain groceries were absurdly cheap in the markets we used in the Cote d’Azur. These two chickens, though, beautifully dressed and trimmed, with Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée labels and a lovely succulent plumpness, took the parsimonious biscuit. Each was large enough to serve four, and the special offer which gave me one free (in a lovely cardboard box) when I bought the other meant that the pair only cost €4. That’s €4 for more protein than my cats get in a week.

I decided to roast the chickens like this for a number of reasons. I was on holiday, so wanted a dish that wasn’t too fiddly, which meant I could spend some more time on the terrace drinking. They were good birds whose flavour deserved a chance to sing on its own. And this method meant that I could pile the dish high with Provençal flavours. I found some paste made from sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers and a very little anchovy, some roast red peppers marinated in olive oil and herbes de Provence, some nutty-tasting little new potatoes and other good things. To serve six with plenty left over, this is what I did with them :

2 chickens
5 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
8 salted anchovies
100g roast marinated red peppers, cut into strips
1kg new potatoes
750g shallots, peeled
6 bulbs (yes, whole bulbs) garlic
1 lemon
1 bottle rosé wine (I used the local Bandol, which was pretty much the only wine you could buy in the area)
150g butter
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon herbes de Provençe
1 handful fresh chervil
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh basil
150g crème fraîche
Salt and pepper

Pull any fat out of the inside of the chickens and discard. Zest the lemons, putting the zest to one side. Chop the lemons in half and put one half in the cavity of each chicken with a bay leaf and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.

Place the chickens in a large roasting dish, and fill the space around them with the potatoes, peeled, whole shallots, garlic bulbs (not peeled, and cut in half across the equator), the remaining bay leaves, the anchovies and peppers. The anchovies will ‘melt’ when cooked and will give a deeply savoury, but not fishy, base to the dish.

Place knobs of butter on the chickens, and scatter over the herbes de Provençe and some more salt. In a jug, whisk together the tomato paste, the lemon zest and the wine, and pour it all into the baking dish. Season and place in the oven at 180° C for two hours, basting frequently with the winey juices.

When the chickens come out of the oven, transfer them and the potatoes, shallots, garlic and peppers to a warm serving dish to rest. Chop the chervil, parsley and basil finely, and whisk them and the crème fraîche into the pan juices. Serve with a green salad and some more of the wine you used in the dish.

Zesty roast chicken

How on earth have I managed to go for so many months without roasting a chicken? I found this beautiful free-range, maize-fed bird in Waitrose. It was calling out in a ghostly chicken voice to be stuffed with zingy, summer aromatics.

Roast chicken using this method is as easy as anything; you only need to spend a few minutes preparing the bird to go into the oven, and it produces so much buttery, herby, oniony juice that you don’t need to make a gravy.

Some people like to roast their chicken with the breast pointing downwards, in order to keep everything moist. You don’t get such a crisp skin with this method, though, so I prefer to roast the chicken the right way up, breast pointing skywards, and baste every ten minutes or so with the buttery juices.

You’ll need:

1 chicken
1 lime, cut in halves
3 red onions, sliced roughly
10 cloves of garlic, skin on
1 handful marjoram from the garden
1 stalk celery
3 tablespoons butter
Sea salt
2 teaspoons flaked dried chilis and freshly ground pepper (I used a grinder of Spirits of Fire mix from the Elements of Spice company in South Africa – a present, along with another five grinders of wonderful things, from our friends Greg and Sienne.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put both halves of the lime, the celery (in pieces), one of the onions, the marjoram, half the garlic, a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of chillis and pepper inside the cavity of the bird. You may have to push quite hard, but persevere; it’ll all fit with a bit of squeezing.

Stack the remaining onions and garlic in the bottom of the roasting tin, and place the chicken on top. Dot the rest of the butter on the surface of the chicken, and grind the rest of the spices all over.

You should cook your chicken for 45 minutes per kilo, plus 20 minutes. Baste every 10 minutes or so, and rest the bird for 5-10 minutes when you remove it from the oven. It will have released delicious juices into the tray, which you can spoon over your accompaniments along with the now roast onions and garlic. I served this with a bacon and onion rosti, which soaked up the juices beautifully – watch this space for a recipe.

No sandwich in the world is better than the sandwich you make the day after roasting this chicken with the jellied juices, a little roast onion and the tender meat you’ve stripped from the carcass.