Christmas Cockerel recipe

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For the Cockerel

  • 1 whole cockerel (2.5- 3.5 kg / 6-8 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut into large chunks

For the Gravy

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

A Christmas cockerel recipe

Prep Time: 90 minutes

Cooking Time: 120 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories: 691 calories per serving

When it comes to Christmas dinner, consider the underrated hero of holiday poultry – the cockerel. A cockerel, which is a young male chicken, offers several advantages for your Christmas dinner. It’s larger than a chicken, but smaller and more affordable than a turkey, so it’s the perfect size for a family feast. The meat is succulent and flavourful, with a hint of richness that elevates your seasonal meal. Cockerel works with all your festive favourite side dishes, but we recommend some we think work especially well with cockerel’s rich flavour. Read the steps below to learn how to cook a cockerel at Christmas.


Step 1 – Perpare the Cockerel

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Rinse the cockerel inside and out, then pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub the olive oil all over the cockerel, then season with salt and pepper, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
  4. Place the lemon halves, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves into the cavity of the cockerel.
Rinse the cockerel

Step 2 – Cook the Cockerel

  1. In a large roasting pan, arrange the quartered onions, carrots, and any additional rosemary sprigs.
  2. Place the seasoned cockerel on top of the vegetables, breast side up. This ensures the breast meat remains moist.
  3. Roast the cockerel in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes per kg (so, a 3kg bird will take approximately 1.5 -2 hrs to cook). 45 minutes before the end, turn the cockerel back the right way up and continue to cook until the skin becomes crispy. A minimum core temperature of 72°C is recommended.
Cook the cockerel

Step 3 – Prepare the Gravy

  1. While the cockerel is roasting, prepare the gravy. In a saucepan, combine the chicken broth and white wine. Bring it to a simmer.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the flour with a little water to make a smooth paste. Slowly whisk this paste into the simmering broth mixture. Cook until the gravy thickens, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
make gravy

Step 4 – Serve the Cockerel

  • Once the cockerel is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.
  • Carve the cockerel into serving pieces and serve with the roasted vegetables and delicious homemade gravy.
remove cockerel from Window

Side Dish Recommendations

Cranberry Sauce:

A classic side, the tartness of cranberry sauce complements the richness of the cockerel.

Mashed Potatoes:

Creamy and comforting, mashed potatoes are a perfect pairing with the flavourful cockerel.

Roast potatoes:

No roast dinner is complete without them. Our tip is to cook them in goose fat.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

If you think you don’t like sprouts, try this: roast them with olive oil and seasonings to enhance their natural flavour and add a crunchy texture.

Honey-Glazed Carrots:

Cook them just beyond the bite with butter and a little sugar before drizzling with honey to serve.

Sausage and Sage Stuffing:

A savoury stuffing with the earthy flavours of sage and sausage makes an ideal accompaniment to the cockerel. Traybake this alongside the cockerel rather than stuffing the bird as it reduces cooking time.

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