1st January 2017

Festive capon with cider and apples

By MaitreMarcel

A capon is a poor animal as it is a castrated rooster that becomes a fatter bird than its reproductive brethren. It is larger than a normal chicken and is often used in France for the end-of-year meals. Stuffed, you can feed eight people with one bird.

Here I am combining a poaching technique with roasting. This helps getting the entire bird cooked, not just the outside, and permeates the bird with the taste of the cooking liquid, in this case the cider.

The stuffing was made of apples with the filling of “boudin blanc” white blood sausages. You can also use minced meat or just apples.


  • One capon
  • Three bottles of cider
  • Three sage leaves
  • One onion
  • Five shallots
  • A glass of calvados
  • Butter
  • Pepper and salt



  1. Put the cider and sage in a large pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the capon and reduce the heat to a slight simmer, cook for 45 minutes, turning very so often.
  3. Cut up three shallots and the apples. Take the filling from the sausages, mix and add salt and pepper, set aside.
  4. Heat the oven to 240 °C.
  5. Take the bird out of the liquid, let it cool down and stuff it with the apple mixture.
  6. Cut one onion and two shallots, put in a large baking tin. Put the bird in the tin, backside up, add some of the stock and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180 °C and cook for a total of one-and-a-half hours, turning and basting regularly and adding stock as needed.
  7. About 15 minutes before the end, pour the calvados over the bird.
  8. Take the bird out of the oven, add salt and pepper, and wrap it tightly and generously in aluminium foil. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  9. The onions will have caramelised in the cooking liquid. Reduce the liquid into a sauce.
  10. Bring to the table and serve.