A Christmas Cockerel (or capon) is fantastic eating, combining the taste, succulence and texture of a quality free-range chicken with the size of a turkey (5-6kgs)
As with our turkeys, the cockerels are slow-reared for exceptional taste. With a life span of 130 days compared to the average supermarket chicken, which is reared to 38 days, they are grown to maturity resulting in super large sizes and fabulous moist meat. They grow on grass pastures on a family farm in Warwickshire, fed on a natural cereal-based diet with no artificial additives or growth stimulants being added to their feed.
They are bred to the highest welfare standards, with plenty of space, outdoor light, food and water. They are reared by Heart of England Farm who specialize in Christmas fowl.
Your cockerel will come in a presentation box, oven-ready with a brochure, recipe card, letter and pop-up timer.
The cockerels come between 5-6kg and feed up to 12 people
Recipe for Roast Cockerel with Butter & Herbs
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus resting
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes approx
- Serves 8-10
- 4kg (approx.) Free Range Cockerel
- 2 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (thyme, rosemary & sage)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- 400ml Chicken stock
- 50ml red wine or 20ml marsalla
- Remove the cockerel from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 180.
- Mix together the chopped herbs and butter, season and rub all over the cockerel. Place the garlic cloves and lemon (cut in half) inside the cavity.
- Place in a large roasting tin and put in the oven for 16 minutes per 450g/1lb, plus an extra 16 minutes or until the juices run clear. (If the cockerel is browning too much place foil lightly over the top.
- Once cooked, remove the cockerel from the oven and place on a serving plate – cover with foil to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Make the gravy by placing the tray over a low heat – adding the red wine/marsalla and the chicken stock. Allow to come to the boil and reduce slightly. For added smoothness add 10g of butter to the gravy.
- Carve the cockerel and serve with the gravy, roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes, red cabbage, parsnips and streaky bacon rolls.
When is a Capon not a Capon? Caponisation is illegal in the UK but still widely practiced in mainland Europe. Essentially it is a process which can be physical or with hormones, which neuters the cockerel allowing the bird to become plump for the table. We do not caponise our Cockerels. Our rearing method, along with the naturally waning day length during their rearing, means that this practice is totally unnecessary.