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Nov 12, 2006 04:48 PM

Using Marcella's Lemon Roast Chicken Technique for a Capon?

For various reasons, I'm serving capon instead of turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I love Marcella's lemon roast chicken recipe because it's yummy and easy and was wondering if I could use it for capon. I'll do dressing, so stuffing it isn't an issue.

I've been reading roast capon recipes in various cookbooks and everyone seems to agree that it's pretty much like roasting a really big chicken (and, really, why should it be much different?), so it seems like Marcella's technique should work, but I do have a few questions.

1. For a 3-4 lb chicken, Marcella says breast down for 30 minutes at 350, then breast up at 350 for another 30-35 minutes and then finish at 400 for about 20 more minutes, cooking it a total of 20-25 minutes per lb. How do you think I should adapt that for, say a 10 lb capon? Maybe 1.5 hr/1.5hr/1 hr? Does the 20-25 min/lb ratio still hold? FWIW, Silver Palate Basics' poultry roasting chart says a 7-9 lb capon should take 20-22 min/lb at 350.

2. Marcella says if you're serving it hot, serve it right away rather than letting it rest. I'm assuming that's just to keep the skin crisp and puffed up. I really, really, really need the resting and carving in the kitchen time so that I can use that time to warm up assorted things in the oven. (Some day I will have 2 ovens and life will be glorious. . .) I can't think of anything tragic that will happen to the capon if it rests for 15 minutes and then gets carved in the kitchen, aside from losing the presentation value, can you?


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  1. I think a capon will do far better than a large roasting chicken, and I suspect you should follow your intuited approach here.

    I applaud your use of capon for the holiday.

    1. I just moved and all of my cookbooks are packed away. Is a version of the Hazan lemon chicken available online? It's been a while since I made it. TIA.

      1 Reply
      1. Hazan's lemon chicken recipe doesn't produce the same wonderful results with larger birds.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Phooey! But good to know. So you think I'd be better off with a recipe/technique designed for capons?

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks. I think I'm going to try this one. I'll let you all know.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            In general, I would agree, especially for chickens and turkeys, which have very lean breast meat. I think if it would work for any larger bird, it would be capon, the breast meat of which is not as prone to getting stringy and dry as the other large birds.

          2. I know I am not contributing to this thread - but I am cooking chickedn tonight and have been thinling of the MH recipe - but couldn't remeber where it was from - thanks for jogging my brain