As an alternative to chicken, Tim Love often roasts capon—a young, neutered rooster. Capons are usually bigger and slightly chewier than chicken, with a more profound chickeny flavor. Love stuffs his bird like a turkey with a rich combination of bread, chorizo and smoked cheddar cheese. Then, instead of gravy, he serves it with a nutty and delicately tart sauce made with brown butter and sorrel, a slightly sour and acidic green herb.To make the Pulled Capon and Watercress Salad with Citrus Dressing: Reserve 1 1/4 pounds (4 cups) of skinless, boneless capon. More Alternatives to Holiday Turkey

September 2006


Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot, combine the hot water with the crushed red pepper, garlic and the 1/2 cup of salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Add the cold water and the capon. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Drain and rinse the capon, then pat dry. In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the smoked cheddar, bread cubes and stock and stir. Loosely stuff the capon with half of the mixture and transfer the rest to a small baking dish.

  • Transfer the capon to a roasting pan and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Rub the bird with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the capon for about 2 hours until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh registers 170°; turn the pan occasionally during roasting for even browning. Let the capon rest for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bake the stuffing in the baking dish for 20 minutes, until heated through and browned and crusty on top.

  • In a medium skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until nutty and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the sorrel and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until wilted, about 1 minute.

  • Spoon the stuffing from the cavity of the capon into a serving dish. Carve the capon and transfer to a platter. Spoon the sorrel butter over the capon and serve with the baked stuffing.

Suggested Pairing

The chorizo stuffing in this flavorful bird is rich enough that it needs a wine with firm tannins and acidity, like a top-quality Rioja from Spain.