The perfect Christmas roast
- An average-size chicken weighs about 1.5kg and will feed a family of two adults and two children or generously satisfy two people with some meat left over for a sandwich or two the next day.
- As with most well-cooked meat, the roasting formula is 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes, so it’ll take around 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1½ hours to cook your chicken perfectly.
- There are many methods of bird-roasting but as a standard chicken doesn’t take very long to cook, we don’t think there’s any need to get too complicated. We tie the legs together with string and roast ours breast-down for the first hour, so the moisture runs down into the flesh rather than out into the tin, then turn it over for the last 30 minutes to allow the skin to crisp and colour. If you prefer, cook yours right-side up for the duration of the cooking time – either way it’s not usually necessary to cover it with foil.
- Make sure the chicken is cooked through by either piercing the thigh with a skewer, or checking the juices that run out onto the resting plate. In both cases you need to make sure there’s no pinkness remaining.