Having a couple of go-to roast chicken recipes is like being able to mix one or two classic cocktails, knowing a magic trick or being able to play the piano in a bar. It makes you cool and useful.
The great thing about this go-to roast chicken is that, alongside being easy and extremely delicious, it'll be new to a lot of people, bringing an element of surprise and mystery to your off the cuff chicken magic.
Taste-wise, what makes this recipe a winner is that the chicken is effectively auto-basted by the fat from the 'nduja, which melts during cooking to flavour the meat and keep it juicy. You don't even have to open the oven. The richness of the pork sausage, cut through with some chilli heat, distributed throughout a juicy roast chicken. Superb.
This dish can be turned into a tray bake quite easily. You can par-boil some potatoes and add them to the roasting tin half an hour from the end of the cooking time, or even throw them in raw or unpeeled earlier.
Tomatoes, onions and courgettes are welcome too.
Or you could put on some pasta or risotto and serve those with the roast chicken.
Basically, do what you like/have to hand.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Note the weight of the chicken before you throw the packaging.
Put a couple of slashes in the chicken leg meat to encourage the legs to cook faster.
Halve or quarter the lemon depending on its size and peel the garlic cloves.
Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper, then place the lemon, garlic and pepper in the cavity of the chicken.
At the neck end of the chicken, carefully insert your fingers between the skin and the breast meat on one side of the breast bone or the other. Carefully, so as not to tear the skin, push the skin and breast apart to create a pocket between them. You will be able to do this all the way over the breast, breast bone to leg/wing and neck to tail. Repeat on the other breast so you have two large pockets.
Push the 'nduja into the pockets you've created and gently smooth over the surface of the breast from the outside, being careful again not to tear the skin.
Season the outside of the chicken with salt.
Put the chicken in the over for 20 minutes per 500g, plus another 20 minutes.
Carve the chicken, serve your sides and spoon over the mix of chicken juices and melted 'nduja.