I was born eating tasty food, and grew up typically, with food and happiness being closely intertwined. My mom made it her business to satisfy our hunger with a wide variety of delicious meals. We had several mid-century standards; best ever spaghetti and meat sauce, yummy tenderloin and coloured peppers marinated in soy sauce and served over rice, roast beef with seriously scrumptious roasted potatoes on special occasions, simply delicious homemade soup and salad meals, the list goes on…
Lately my food obsession has reached a new peak. For years I kept it under wraps, not intentionally, but lazily, making room for numerous time stealing pursuits. Sure there were spurts of interest over the years, but nothing consistent or sustained.
Suddenly the idea of blogging about food took hold and fawned an interest in going backwards to iterate the old standards, current to promote all the published recipes that delight, and forwards to attempt to think up new creations. It is fun trying to think up new combos. Twisting and tweaking with the desire to improve or be slightly original.
Today’s recipe isn’t a flashback and it isn’t particularly creative. It was just a stab at something new to me. I stumbled upon some capons at PA Supermarket. It seemed like a good idea to try cooking a capon for the very first time. The experience was all good, and now that I’m all informed, capons will no longer puzzle or intimidate me. A new year, filling slowly with new experiences and challenges.
- 1 (6-7 lb) capon, brought to room temperature (30 minutes on the countertop)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T unsalted butter, softened
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon zest
- 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- light dusting of paprika
- 6 medium red or yellow onions, trimmed, leaving root ends intact, and cut into wedges
- 1 c homemade chicken stock (or store bought, reduced sodium)
Preheat oven to 425F. Remove excess fat then rinse, dry, lightly salt and pepper capon inside and out.
Combine butter, oil, zest, 2/3 tablespoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Loosen skin starting at neck, then place butter mixture under the skin, and on the outside of capon. Tuck wings under.
Put halved lemon in the cavity, then tie legs together with string. Coat the exterior with lemon juice, then a sprinkling of salt, pepper and paprika.
Roast capon 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375F and add onions to pan, coating with pan juices. Baste and stir onions every half hour, until thermometer in thigh registers 170F.
Retain all the juices from the cavity and the onions in the roasting pan as you transfer the capon to a cutting board, the onions to a bowl. Allow the capon to stand, exposed, for 15 minutes. Season the onions with salt and pepper as required.
Add the chicken stock to the roasting pan, deglazing by boiling over high heat for about 1 minute. Transfer to a small pot, simmering until thickened and adding a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a gravy boat with a deep spout that emits fat free gravy.
Serve with onions and sauce.
- Recipe inspired by Epicurious, Gourmet.
- Read about capon vs. chicken, or capons as chicken eunuch-couch potatoes or get the whole poultry story demystified in the Gourmet Sleuth.
- Thank you to Shelley Alper, who cut up the big bird with flourish, calming my jitters and sharing in our New Year’s celebrations.
- Thanks to Norene Gilletz, for sharing this NYT article:
A Recipe for Simplifying Life: Ditch All the Recipes, well worth reading.
- Watch this Pampered Chef – Jittery Cook video to see Christina Abboud work her magic using a Deep Covered Baker to roast a large chicken. Forgive the sketchy camera work. Jittery cook, jittery video…but Christina’s voice, message and loveliness carry the day.