The feet add a tremendous amount of gelatin to the broth. However, I fully understand if people don’t want to use them. When you try to peel them you may decide it’s more work than it’s worth. If you over-scald them they can be a pain to peel.
I’ve never done it but some versions of Cog au Vin (Cock with wine) include marinating the old rooster overnight in the wine, that supposedly tenderizes it even more. I’ve cooked old rooster in a crock pot on low with water and seasonings for around 8 to 9 hours. It was tender but if you are not used to anything other than the store-bought Cornish X, it can be a little different.
June, do you add any flavorings or seasonings? I’ll be replacing my rooster this fall and just might try this. It sure sounds good.