Cockerel – pot roasted

brown the chicken

July 19th, 2012

I thought about cooking the first happy chicken as coq au vin, but I had 2 pints of chicken and smoked turkey stock in the freezer, which got the better of me.


I browned the chicken all over in a large cast iron frying pan with some olive oil. When it had taken a suitable colour I poured a glass of Spanish sherry brandy over the top and set light to it. There were some great flames, but, my large flash head, bounced off the ceiling, has cancelled them out in the picture. If I was doing this in a studio, I’d have the camera on a tripod and take multiple controlled exposures to get it right, perhaps even using several chickens. Most food from photographic shoots isn’t eaten, since it sits around in a warm studio all day and gets considerable manhandling.  As I was intending to eat this and there’s not much room in the kitchen, I put up with the picures I got. The brandy flavours the chicken and the flame burns off the alcohol.


Once the flames had gone out, I removed the chicken and deglazed the pan with a glass of red wine and some red wine vinegar.

In the meantime I heated up the chicken and smoked turkey stock in a cast iron casserole.  The stock was made as per my recipe here – I added the cooked carcasses of two chickens and the leftover bone from a smoked turkey leg.

livers, hearts and kidneys

The offal from all three happy chicken was added to the stock for extra flavour, along with the deglazing liquid.

pot roasted

I cooked the cockerel (lid on) for two hours in the oven at 100ºC. It tasted delicious with seasonal vegetables – broad beans, carrots, new potatoes and peas.

It went down well with a couple of glasses of Carta Roja Monastrell.

About Mad Dog
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15 Responses to Cockerel – pot roasted

  1. Sounds really good Mad. Love the sherry brandy addition.

  2. Great to see you doing those birds justice, that sounds and looks wonderful.

  3. That looks and sounds amazing! The photos look great too, even without the flames, especially the deglazing of the pan.

  4. You know that scene in “When Harry met Sally” and she makes some rather fruity noises in a diner….yes, this recipe makes me want to do all that table banging etc….;) Fabulous way of cooking those Happy Chicken and reminds me of a restaurant in Belgravia (not sure if it´s still there) which was called Poule au Pot I thnik, and their signature dish was something very similar. Yes, yes, yes!

    • Mad Dog says:

      OMG – thanks Tanya! I remember the restaurant by name, but I’ve never been there – sounds like it still exists:

      • That´s the one – it looks exactly the same (as does the menu – if somewhat pricier)! Clever you for tracking it down 🙂 Now I want to go back but would probably be disappointed as it was such a long time ago I was last there.

        • Mad Dog says:

          I expect it was a cheap bistro in the days when Conran made coq au vin chic. I think the style went out of favour in a big way, but has recently come back in vogue. …and of course Knightsbridge and Chelsea have become very expensive. I remember cheap restaurants around there in the 80’s.

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Between the sherry brandy, offal, and cooking juices, that sauce must have been a thing of beauty and that bird one succulent cockerel. Well done, MD. This sounds like a wonderful meal.

  6. Intense flavours – fabulous. Nice work.

  7. Pingback: Cockerels – marinated and roasted | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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