This is an elegant way to serve a rooster or cockerel: the stuffing contains black truffle but if you don’t want the expense of buying a fresh one you can get them preserved, or simply replace with finely chopped wild mushrooms cooked down with the onion. Ask your butcher to bone out your rooster (or cockerel or even a large chicken) completely as it can be tricky. You can prepare this a few days ahead. For roosters and cockerels, I recommend Herb Fed and Fosse Meadows.
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time and overnight chilling
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
500g minced chicken leg
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 fresh or preserved black truffle, finely chopped
1 x 3-4kg rooster, cockerel or large chicken, boned (save the bones for stock)
60ml olive oil
gravy, to serve
Melt the butter in a pan and gently cook the onion and thyme for a few minutes without colouring. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, mix the minced chicken, breadcrumbs and truffle with the onion then season.
Lay the boned rooster flat on a work surface, skin-side down. Slice off some of the thick breast and leg meat and space it out evenly on the boned bird so once stuffed, rolled and cooked, each slice gets a bit of everything.
Put the stuffing evenly down the centre then roll the bird up lengthways, overlapping the edges slightly. Lay a couple of large sheets of cling film on the work surface and transfer the bird on to the centre. Roll it up as tightly as you can in the cling film (you may need another layer if you feel it’s not enough), twisting each end tightly to form a cylinder shape.
Now wrap it tightly in a couple layers of foil and place in a deep roasting tin or saucepan (sometimes I use a fish kettle).
Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then allow to cool. Refrigerate the wrapped roll overnight.
The next day, carefully remove the foil and cling film. Tie the rolled meat about 10 times at 6cm intervals.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Heat a roasting tin or large ovenproof frying pan in the oven for about 10 minutes then remove, add the olive oil to the tray and add the bird. Season well and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning and basting occasionally.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes then remove the string and cut into 1-2cm slices. Serve with gravy and vegetables.