Soanes Simple Roast Christmas Cockerel

Main courseServes 8-12

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional turkey why not try a Christmas Cockerill from the team at award-winning East Yorkshire based Soanes Poultry. Reared on Yorkshire farms just for the Christmas market, they make a delicious alternative to turkey and are available to order now from independent butchers and farm shops across the county. For more information visit      


4kg (8-9lb) Soanes Christmas Cockerel


Salt and pepper

Premium pork sausage meat

Premium sage and onion stuffing


  1. Take the cockerel out of the fridge an hour before putting it into the oven, so it can get to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Form little stuffing balls with the remaining stuffing, place into a greased tin and put in the fridge until later.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for the last 15 minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.