Capon, for those not in the know, is a castrated male chicken. Upon losing its sex drive, a capon apparently just sits and eats in the shade and gets fat and plump juicy. We actually wanted to get turkey, since we've never had that before, but it turned out to be slightly too big for our needs. The capon was quite big itself though, definitely not a normal chicken, hehe. Just look at those huge thighs! No one could believe it *was* chicken, until they tasted it, of course. Apparently, turkey tastes different than chicken, but I haven't had turkey, so I can't compare. ;) It was definitely a good choice though. There was just enough for 9 people, and the meat was tender and very very juicy. How did we get it so good? Ahahaha, here we go!
What you need:
1 capon (ours was about 5 kilos - roughly 10 pounds!)
2 tablespoons honey
For the stuffing:
2 tablespoons butter
5 sausages, chopped up roughly
2 onions, sliced finely
8 mushrooms, sliced finely
Salt, for seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
What you do:
- To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a wok. Add the sausages, mushrooms and onions and fry until the sausages are browned and the mushrooms and onions softened. Careful not to burn the onions. Season with salt and add the black pepper and mixed herbs. Mix well and leave to cool.
- Once cool, stuff the chicken with the sausage mix in the body cavity. Melt the honey and butter together. Place the chicken in rack over a roasting pan and spoon over the honey-butter mixture. It will cling to the skin as it cools.
- Marinate the chicken, uncovered, in a fridge or some other cool place for 24 hours, spooning over any excess mixture.
- Add some water to the roasting pan (to prevent the drippings for burning) and roast the chicken in an oven preheated to 170 C. Roast for about 20 minutes per pound of chicken, basting frequently with the honey and butter mixture.
- The chicken is cooked when juices run clear when a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
I forgot to check whether the chicken was done before I gave up the oven (there was a queue for it, ahahaha - potatoes and macaroni), and was really worried whether it was cooked or not when we started to carve the chicken, but it turned out beautifully moist and tender. (I cooked it for slightly above 3 hours!) The meat was practically falling off the bone, and was so juicy and tender. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to marinate the chicken beforehand, since we didn't defrost it early enough, so the meat was a bit ... well, it tasted like chicken and nothing much, haha. But it was soooooo juicy, that it *almost* didn't matter.
Plus, out of the chicken juices in the pan, one of our guests (the same guy who made the chocolate cheesecake) made a really good chicken gravy. Apparently, you just boil to reduce the liquid, then add a bit of flour to thicken it. It turned out slightly sweet (because of the honey) which complemented the chicken perfectly. Sooooo good!
I read somewhere that to achieve tender roast chicken, you are highly suggested to stuff it. I gave what I used for this particular chicken, but it's up to you really. You can add your favorite ingredients together and see if it will go well with chicken, hehe. I loved the sausages, though they turned a bit of a funny colour, slightly grey. Didn't affect their taste much, but still...well, strange, ahahaha. But we've used other things as stuffing before, usually bread with some vegetables. That turned out fine, but I definitely prefer sausages, hehe.
All in all, this was a pretty good dish. I'm really liked it~! ;) And judging from the leftovers (none!) I hope everyone liked it as well, hehe.