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Cranberry Lacquered Capon

Cranberry Capon

Chef Philippe Gaston of Cove in Huston gives us a recipe using the unusal capon bird for Thanksgiving dinner.


For the cranberry-chicory glaze

  • 1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 satsuma, zest
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup cranberry juice
  • 1 Cup demi-glace
  • 1/4 Cup Grande Marnier
  • 1 Tablespoon chicory coffee
  • 1/4 lemon, juice

For the capon

  • Two 4-5 pound capon, legs removed and held for confit
  • 4 Cups kosher salt
  • 2 Cups cranberry concentrate
  • 1 Cup honey
  • 2 gallons water


For the cranberry-chicory glaze

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, sweat shallots in butter for 2 minutes until translucent. Add all other ingredients, excluding demi-glace. Reduce by 3/4. Add demi-glace and simmer for 20 minutes or until at sauce consistency. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Add zest and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice. Reserve hot.

For the capon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Rub the capons thoroughly with the salt and cut off the tail to allow drainage. Place the capons on a rack set in a shallow pan and refrigerate for 24 hours. Wash the salt from the capons under cold running water and remove any excess fat from the skin.

In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 gallons of water to a boil. Stir in the honey and cranberry. Immerse the capons in the boiling honeyed water for 3 minutes. Remove, drain, and set on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees, and cook for another 45 minutes or until the skin resembles black lacquer.