Cooking Tips by Scott Smith
This year for the Christmas bird, we are championing high-welfare family farm, St Brides in Strathaven. Capon was very popular in the UK about 50 years ago, before the popularity of turkey overtook it on the festive table. This small scale family farm produces proper free range birds reared outside from the age of 6 weeks and allowed to grow at a natural rate.
As the birds are fed a traditional diet of grains and locally grown whole wheat, and reared outside for longer than a standard chicken, they are super succulent and tender. Much juicier than turkey!
For a twist on the traditional, we'll be serving up the roast Capon stuffed with garlic, lemon and thyme and served with our favourite festive veggies.
- Good quality olive or rapeseed oil
- Garlic, lemon, herbs or seasoning of your choice
1. Brine the capon overnight in water with 6% of the water weight in salt.
2. Remove the bird from the brine, and pump air under the skin to separate and lift from the meat. You can use anything to get air under – a small, cheap bike pump is best!
3. Spread a blend of butter and oil under the skin, and fill the cavity with a lemon, some garlic and thyme.
4. Cook gently at a very low temperature 90˚c for cooking for 30 minutes per kg.
5. Remove from the oven and rest for 45 minutes.
6. After resting, place it back into a hot oven (240˚c) for 15 minutes, or until you have a perfectly crispy skin!