Step 5: Tie legs

This is actually quite simple, just hard to describe in words. Check out the pictures and photonotes for details.

Bring the ends of string down between the chicken's legs, then cross the legs at the "ankles" above/behind the point of the chicken breast. Make sure your previous knot is still pulled tight. (You could turn it into a square knot if you need to, but I just keep tension on it during this next part.)

Separate the strings, loop them around the outside of the chicken ankles, then tie a square knot to finish it off. The legs should now be cinched in close to the body.
I think Thomas Keller's way turns out better, with the wings underneath. <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtCT-xbYZYk
So, in essence then, this makes the wings and legs <em>as bulky or massive</em> as the rest of the bird, and helps it cook more evenly this way (I realize your intro says this, but I am trying to see <em>why</em>). <br/><br/>That is, if no <em>filling</em> is inserted (as I have heard that stuffing a chicken can cause uneven or poorly / slowing of distributed cooking). <br/><br/>I really am not as familiar with cooking whole birds as I should be, I've only really done it twice; one chicken, one turkey - both open, the turkey had a few veggie in it's middle. <br/>
Untrussed, the wings/legs are isolated and stick out so hot dry air flows around all sides. Trussed, they're less exposed. Also, the legs help prevent the breast from drying out.
BTW: Nicely written up ...

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