In Wales an old stewing hen was probably used to make a Ffowlin Cymreig, but a roasting chicken is better. Serve with fried potato cakes, made either with shredded potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes, or the Irish Boxty on the Griddle.
Wash a 4 to 5 pound chicken; twist wing tips and fasten so wings are akimbo and flat against back of chicken. Or if wings tips are cut off, skewer or tie chicken. Pat dry and rub about 1/2 teaspoon salt in body cavity. Dice the bacon and fry until crisp and brown in a Dutch oven or heavy, deep frying pan. Brown the chicken in the hot drippings, turning to brown sides, breast, and back. Brown giblets, if desired, or save for another use. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt while browning. Remove chicken from pan.
Clean and slice leeks very thin, using just a small portion of the green tops. Add to bacon bits along with diced carrots. Cook until lightly browned; stir in flour and brown lightly. Add coarsely chopped cabbage, remaining 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. (Amount of salt will depend on saltiness of stock.) Stir to mix thoroughly and when cabbage is slightly wilted, add chicken stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until simmering. Add chopped parsley; crush fines herbes and stir into vegetables. When stew is simmering gently, arrange chicken on top. Cover and simmer very slowly until chicken is tender, 1 to 2 hours depending on its tenderness. (A very old stewing chicken may take even longer.) Turn chicken several times and spoon sauce over it occasionally.
To serve, cut slices from breast and cut legs, thighs, and wings into pieces. Arrange chicken pieces on beds of vegetables. Serve with potato cakes and spoon the broth over vegetables, chicken, and potato cakes. Makes 4 servings, perhaps with some leftovers.