I was recently sent a big old cockerel from Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm. He rears a few every year and cooked like this they make a warming and healthy main course.
You can simply joint it by removing the legs and cutting them in half at the joint. Remove the wings then the breasts or leave them on the bone cut into 2 or 3 pieces, or just get your butcher to do it.
1 cockerel or a large chicken, jointed
2ltrs chicken stock
A couple of sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
12 small shallots, peeled
8 or so small carrots like chantenay, peeled
8 or so small parsnips and or turnips, peeled if grubby
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
70-80g small carrots, trimmed and cleaned
10-12 large new potatoes like Charlotte, peeled
Put all of the pieces of chicken in a large saucepan with the chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour, skimming the fat off regularly.
Add all of the vegetables and continue simmering for another 20 minutes or so until they are tender. That's it – simple, healthy and delicious – re-season if necessary, and serve.