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Thread: cockerel recipes!

  1. #1
    petal's Avatar
    petal is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default cockerel recipes!

    Anyone got some great recipes for my cockerels besides roast dinner??!!

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    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    We tend to roast the big boys and if not eaten as a "roast dinner" then when cold strip the meat off the bones to make curries, stews etc. Also boil the bones up to make soup or stock. We quite often freeze the meat in portions enough for two and freeze left over soup and stock too.

    With bantams we skin them rather than pluck (too small to be a roast therefore no need for skin), joint up and make casseroles. Add a generous slosh of wine or cider, herbs, onion, mushrooms, carrot and celery and you have a decent basic casserole. This is also a good way of dealing with old hens, who are too tough to roast and need a lot of long gentle stewing.
    Last edited by RichmondHens; 24-11-2010 at 02:17 PM.

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    Depends a lot on age. I'd agree that skinning is easier than plucking if you don't actually want the skin (and apart from roasting, who does?), but quite simply, there is almost nothing you CAN'T do by way of cooking a cockerel, other than some would be too old to roast nicely!
    One skinned (or plucked if you are enthusiastic), you could cut off the breast meat, the legs and the wings, and use them all for different dishes, there must be a thousand recipes in any decent cookbook!
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    motherhen is offline Sprouter
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    I've got loads of recipes but cannot remember them without my notes but one that I used to use a lot is a German recipe.
    I usually roast it off a bit to reduce the fat content, but in a dish with a lid, in the bottom you put chopped bacon, apple and sliced mushrooms and then chicken stock and I add wine ( what a surprise ) the meat cooks up lovely and moist, if you open the lid near the end of cooking time then the skin will crisp.
    When Mum had old hens at home she used to boil them with veg until cooked and then use the cooked meat in other recipes. I seem to remember a lovely Chicken and Leek pie YUM YUM.

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    To be honest- I think it depends on the age of the bird.
    If it's about a year ormore then I'd casserole them to help tederize them.
    If they are the 'usual' 6 months then I actually prefer the gently roasted in a covered dish sitting on a bed of chopped onions with a sprinkling of tarragon, salt and maybe a little chilli.
    I love the 'creamyness' of the meat so would prefer not to have the flavour altered too much.
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    The ones I've done i've 'spatchcocked' That way i can make sure i haven't left any of the entrails inside and they cook quicker this way methinks.
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    Erm, i've just put my dunce hat on. So I'm allowed to ask this

    Is there any difference in taste between a cockerel and a hen? What are they mostly in the shops - cockerels?

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    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    Not really. The taste depends on how the chickens are raised, rather than what sex they are. Slow growing free rangers taste much better than the barn reared quick growing hybrids that are mass produced for the supermarkets. The cheap chickens that you get in supermarkets can be either boys or girls as they are raised specifically for the table and reach their table weight before they are sexually mature.

    Slow growing pure breeds (or first crosses of) which a lot of backyard keepers produce, including myself, take five or six months to get to a decent size, and by this stage the girls are reaching POL. If you are breeding dual purpose birds,eg Light Sussex, then often the girls are sold as egg layers while the boys are kept on and fattened for the table. I don't feel quite right culling a POL hen for the table, and usually sell mine on as egg layers and just fatten the boys for meat.
    Last edited by RichmondHens; 24-11-2010 at 06:30 PM.

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