26 December 2020

The Christmas capon feast

I think we are in a rut, but it's a happy rut. We seem to have pretty much the exact same Christmas dinner every year. I guess everybody does. Oh, sometimes it's a turkey, sometimes it's a chicken capon, and sometimes it's a Guinea hen — or a Guinea fowl capon, as it was yesterday. Then it's cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, winter squash puree, and a stuffing or dressing of some kind. I also think our table was really overloaded yesterday. Here it is:

In the background, on the cake stand, you can see the applesauce cake Walt made yesterday morning, with pecans.

Here's how the chapon de pintade — a Guinea fowl capon, which is a specially fattened bird. I didn't oil or butter the skin at all; it had enough fat under it to keep the meat moist. I didn't stuff the bird except for putting a shallot, a garlic clove, and a cut-up celery stalk inside.

This is the cranberry sauce Walt makes with dried cranberries and orange peel — it's sweet and tart at the same time.

 This is a dressing, which is a stuffing that is cooked separately from the bird rather than inside it. It's made with sausage meat, duck liver plus the liver of the capon, cubes bread, shallot, onion, garlic, pecans, and dried cranberries "rehydrated" in cognac. It's a kind of terrine that's served warm...

And last but not least — we both love them —Brussels sprouts trimmed and then steamed, cut in half, and sautéed in butter with a little bit of flour sprinkled on them to give them a crunchy crust. Pan-roasted, I guess you could call them.

11 comments:

  1. Table looks good and tasty. We had lasagna and meatballs with our friend Joyce. It was a nice day.

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  2. France has such a nice variety of fowl available. I made turkey, dressing, asparagus, and cranberry / orange.

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  3. Wow! What a beautiful feast! Thanks so much for sharing these photos. That pintade looks so crispy and tasty. Wonderful!

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  4. What a lovely dinner! We have brussels sprouts every which way, but haven't tried the flour crunch. Maybe we'll do that tonight.

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  5. Everything looks great. I have totally come around to Brussels sprouts after despising them as a child...crunchy and caramelized is perfect. Walt's cranberry sauce looks great too. I'd love to know the recipe, so different from the typical sauce. Like the cranberries, I'd like to be "rehydrated" in cognac after 2020. ;-)

    We had Mexican take out, enchiladas with carnitas topping, chili Colorado sauce, rice and beans with cotija. We're thinking about making that ourselves for Xmas going forward, comfort food.

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    1. This Mexican take out sounds great. I'd love it. It would remind me of my lost paradise!

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  6. All this looks very appetizing. I'm sure it tasted as good as it looked!

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  7. Who can knock Tradition? Not me! I love change but tradition and favorite dishes that seem to only happen on certain days leaves me with great anticipation! The gloss on that Pintade! Fabulous! What a spread and what a feast you have shown us! And, of course the leftovers! Et les restes!
    Mary in Oregon

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  8. What an excellent meal. But you didn't mention the wine??

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    1. We drink a lot (!) of the local wines. The one we had with our Christmas dinner came from a local wine co-op called Les Vignerons des coteaux romanais, which is about 4 miles north of us in the village of Saint-Romain-sur-Cher. The wine is a vin de France, not an AOP, and is probably mostly Gamay with maybe some Cabernet Franc and Côt (Malbec) added for fortification. We buy it in a box (!) for a little less than 2 euros per liter. It's light and very drinkable. It's a wine described as gouleyant, meaning frais et léger, or something like "lip-smacking good."

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  9. As I recall, we stuffed our birds with chestnuts.

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