Succulent roast chicken – is there anything better? In my book chicken has to be one of the most comforting foods around, almost in any form.

As a child of the sixties, I grew up in towns when convenience foods were considered a Godsend, so I doubt I would have thought about the Chicken having had a good life. On the other hand, We certainly did not eat quite as much meat then as we do now.

One of my first memories of chicken is a roast chicken my mum made, on a Sunday. I was about five. Just as it had come out of the oven, someone knocked at the door, and my mum took the guest into another room to talk to.

I was left alone with this gorgeous smelling roast chicken in the kitchen. It was extremely hard to wait for lunch and it wasn´t l long until I gave in to temptation and ripped a strip of chicken off the underside, where I thought no one would notice.

It tasted so good. I sat down at the table, drank some water, surely mum would come soon. If I could have another bit…, I tore another strip off the other side, it tasted even better, so juicy with crispy skin. This carried on until one side of the chicken was bare. Which I suddenly realized.

Then the door opened, mum looked at the chicken and lead the guest to the door. I mean who calls on Sunday at lunchtime? Then she came back.  We had no pets I could blame the half-devoured chicken on. “That´s the best chicken you´ve ever made mum”, I said.

“The most important thing is the quality of the chicken – that’s key”

The icon cook of the sixties in America was Julia Child. Her aim was to bring French cooking to the home and teach people that cooking can be fun and enjoyable. The French Chef, television cookery show, started out as an experiment, but it was indredibly sucessful and paved the way for all the TV cooking shows. Having watched the video made to celebrate her 100th birthday which would have been 15th August 2012, I am sure she was successful. As it is the 15th August today, I wish her a happy 108th birthday wherever she is. One of her iconc dishes was roasting a chicken.

I would say the matching Dame in the UK was Fanny Cradock. She had a completely different personality to Julia Child. I think fanny was someone that some people were a little afraid of. A bit like Gordon Ramsay. But many learned to cook following her recipes.

“Also essential is a good knife!”


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