Capon Capers

Sundays are usually a roast and two veg. day for the main meal.  If I am cooking for an event or historic house, our dinner will be what I cooked at the event and that could be anything.  But this Sunday was a normal regular Sunday.  When grocery shopping I noticed the meat section had some geese and capons.  We have had goose many times but never capons, so capon it was.  Nice fat bird.  For those of you not sure what a capon is, it is a castrated cockerel/rooster.  Never cooked one before, so decided why not just jump in and cook a historical receipt.  Now most people, myself included, call the chicken they have cooked in the oven roasted, but technically it is baked.  I was not desirous to stand out in the cold and roast a capon over a fire pit because it is quite cold and snowy here.  That being the case I needed a historical receipt that was for baked capon, and I found one.

To bake a Turkey, or a Capon.
Bone the Turkey, but not the Capon: parpoyle them, stick cloves in the breasts: Lard them and season t;hem well with pepper and salt, and put them in a deep coffin with the breast downeward, and more of butter.  When it is bakte poure in more butter, and when it is colde stop the venthole with more butter.
A New Booke of Cookerie: 1615

I took the capon, made holes throughout the capon’s breast and larded it with thick bacon.  I then studded it with cloves.  Salted and peppered and placed breast-down in a deep enameled cast-iron casserole pot. I then rubbed butter on the bottom as it is face up.  My thought in this is that the receipt isn’t asking the cook to put the bird in a coffin as in a pie but something the the bird is completely in.  I baked the bird for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven then turned the oven down to 375, baking an additional 2 hours (about 17 minutes per pound).  I basted the bird about every 30 minutes.

This is before it entered the oven upside down.

This of course is after we ate…so hungry, forgot to get a picture before.

It smelled so good cooking and the flavour did not disappoint.  We, my family and I, think the dark meat is a little tough and similar to turkey (probably why the receipt is for either bird).  The white meat was juicy and tender.  Husband wasn’t so thrilled with the clove flavor, although it was subtle.  If I had completely studded the breast it would have been too much.  Capon is definitely a bird we will eat again, next time I will roast it!

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Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Very nice article. I want to come to dinner the next time you serve Capon!!! And I am with the Husband…no cloves…heehee!!!


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