Am I going to burn my house down?
I have a 6 lb. roaster chicken I want to cook for dinner tonight, which will take a couple of hours to cook, which means putting it in the oven by about 3:00. But, I have to go get my daughter at daycare at 4pm and it's about a 30-minute round trip. Do I:
a) Put the chicken in and leave the oven on while I go get her (please don't tell my insurance company);
b) Put the chicken in and turn the oven off while I'm gone, and turn it back on when I return (will I have Sam and Ella over for dinner?); or
c) Just cook the damn bird tomorrow?
I have stuff in the oven right now which should be done by 3pm, so I can't put it in there now.
I wouldn't leave it unattended for fear of the smoke detector. Anytime I roast a chicken, the drippings set off the smoke alarm which could be a serious concern if you aren't home.
Roast it tomorrow or late at night, at a time when you will be there to monitor the progress.
I wouldn't leave it in the oven while you're gone - on or off. Off is asking for sickness, and on... well the splatters that set off the smoke detector are splatters that can easily start a fire. I'd go with the "Just cook the damn bird tomorrow" option.
I've never cooked a 6lb bird, but I've done a 4lb one in an hour ... at the highest temp for 20 minutes then down to 425 or 450 - that may be a solution for you.
Perhaps I shouldn't admit it "in public", but even though I'm an accomplished cook, many times I have opened my oven to alarming amounts of smoke, which - left unchecked - quite easily could have been a fire to put out. Funny - I almost never cut myself, but burn myself or my food with embarrassing frequency!