I was doing an archaeological excavation of my freezer as a review of what was actually inside it. This seemed sensible. I don’t want to waste food or buy anything unnecessarily. Lo! Here was a pack of boring old chicken portions including two chicken legs. I took them out to thaw gently. Now what? In the fridge I found a half used jar of very lazy Garlic and a half used jar of Very lazy Ginger. (You could use fresh if you are less lazy.) Great. I made a paste and tucked it under the loosened skin of the chicken. Then in a hottish oven I roasted the chicken direct on a rack at the top of the oven while the juices dripped on to a tray of veg underneath with a little splash of white wine to provide some further moist juices at the end. Job done with just an hour of cooking time. Note: you must preheat the oven. True, this way of cooking leaves you with a rack to wash and scrub later. But we’ve all got plenty of time haven’t we?

Serves 2


1 teaspoon each of garlic paste and ginger paste (or make your own with 3 garlic gloves and a 5cm knob of peeled grated ginger)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 chicken legs

4 medium potatoes

1 large carrot

8 cauliflower florets

Oil for drizzling

100ml white wine or water


Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees c.

Make a paste with the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Loosen the skin of the chicken and smear the paste between the skin and the flesh.

Cut the scrubbed potatoes into thick coins and the peeled carrot into batons. Spread these with the cauliflower florets in a roasting tin just the right size to take them in a single layer. Drizzle some oil over them and use your hands to spread it around the veg. Sprinkle a little salt over them and grind some black pepper over the tray.  Put the tray of veg on the middle rack of the oven. Put the chicken, skin side up, direct on the top rack. After 30 minutes take the veg out and turn them over to make sure that you get a good roasty finish, put the tray back and let it all cook for another 20 minutes. Take the tray out and splash the white wine over it. Now put the chicken directly on to the roasting tray and let the whole thing cook for another 10 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through and serve, making sure that you scrape up all the delicious caramelized bits from the side.