13 January 2019

Un chapon laqué

I cooked a capon yesterday, and I decided to do it laqué — glazed with a syrup made using honey and soy sauce, with other flavor ingredients. Here's what it looked like. I based it on this recipe, but I didn't make the thickened gravy. We just had the jus from the roasting pan and the remaining marinade as sauces at the table.

I cooked the capon (a neutered, fattened chicken) on a rack over a pan of water in a slow oven for 3 or even 3½ hours, basting it every 30 minutes or so with some more of the glazing syrup. I started it at 160ºC (about 325ºF) and gradually turned the heat down as the bird browned.

The history blurb on the internet about the company that raises and markets these capons said that on a trip to the U.S. in the 1960s the founder realized that Americans ate turkey year-round, not just during the end-of-year holidays. He wanted to introduce that custom to France, and later he diversified his production.

Yesterday, when the bird — especially the drumsticks — started getting pretty dark brown, I not only reduced the heat but I covered the capon loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. I kept basting it, and replenishing the water in the bottom of the roasting pan. The capon drippings, water, and glazing syrup turned into a nice sauce.

Yesterday's meal was pretty simple. We had only two side dishes: a piece of the duck liver, cranberry, and pecan stuffing that I had made for our Christmas dinner and put in the freezer, and some glazed Brussels sprouts. More about those tomorrow.

I bought the capon, a 6½ lb. bird, right after Christmas when it was on sale at about $3.00/lb. (€5.90/kg) — about half the price of the guinea fowl capon we cooked for Christmas. This capon stayed in the freezer for a couple of weeks, and I thawed it for 48 hours in the refrigerator before roasting it.


  1. It's been snowing on Arlington, VA, and there is some accumulation already. I could use a piece of that
    chapon for lunch!

    1. I've been watching and wondering about the snow in the D.C. area. I think Judy in St. Louis must be snowed in, and maybe my friends in Champaign-Urbana IL as well. Nothing here but dark clouds and light rain.

  2. We can buy capons again around here. They disappeared from stores years ago and I was told it had something to do with interstate commerce, which made no sense to me. But they are back in supermarkets again. They can be very flavorful and yours looks deliciously cooked.

    1. The capon meat is very tender and flavorful. Glad you can get them there.


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