4kg (8-9lb) Soanes Christmas Cockerel
Salt and pepper
Premium pork sausage meat
Premium sage and onion stuffing
- Take the cockerel out of the fridge an hour before putting it into the oven, so it can get to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
- Put the cockerel into a large roasting tin. Stuff sage and onion into the bird’s cavity making sure not to stuff it too tightly as the stuffing will expand in the oven.
- Stuff half the premium pork sausage meat into the neck and close the neck skin over the stuffing and secure with a few tooth picks.
- Form little stuffing balls with the remaining stuffing, place into a greased tin and put in the fridge until later.
- Brush the bird with melted butter all over and season with salt and pepper. Place in the tin breast-side down and roast for 1½ hours – basting the cockerel regularly with the meat juices.
- After 1½ hours, turn the bird over, so that it’s breast side up, and roast for another 2 hours. Add the stuffing balls 20 minutes before the bird is done.
- Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for the last 15 minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
- Please check the cockerel is fully cooked. (Insert a thermometer into a meaty part of the leg, avoiding the bone and check that the temperature has reached 165°F/75°C). Remove the bird from the oven.
- Take the bird out and pour the meat juices into a saucepan. Cover the bird in foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
- During that time, make the gravy. Bring the meat juices to the boil, take out a few spoonfuls and put them into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of flour to the bowl and mix until you have a smooth paste, add back to the gravy and cook for another minute until it thickens.