Capon With Tomatoes and Artichokes
- Capon cooked using the Poeling method of cooking
- Vicky Bryant - found at the Columbia Daily Tribune
- 1 capon - about 7 lbs (3.2 kg).
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 fresh whole chives
- 3 fresh parsley stems
- 3 fresh tarragon stems
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) unsalted butter, plus softened butter as needed for coating
- 2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) diced celery
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) diced carrot
- 4 fresh artichoke hearts, or 1/2 lb (.2 kg). rinsed canned artichoke hearts
- 2 cups (475 ml) chicken broth
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh chives
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (150 C.).
- Season the capon with salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with the whole fresh herbs, stems tied in a bundle; set aside.
- Heat 4 tbsp (60 ml) of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the bacon and cook until some of the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, two to three minutes.
- Add the carrots, onions and celery, and cook until light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Place the capon on top of the vegetables and rub with softened butter.
- Cover the pot and place in the oven.
- Baste the capon every 30 minutes with pan drippings or butter.
- Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking time to allow capon to brown, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees (80 C.), about four hours.
- If using fresh artichoke hearts, add them to the pot after three hours.
- Remove the capon and let rest while finishing the sauce.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Reduce slightly.
- Skim away any excess fat that rises to the surface.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Degrease the sauce again thoroughly.
- Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until reduced and thickened to a sauce-like consistency, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts - if using canned - and chopped herbs.
- Simmer just until the tomatoes are heated through.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Carve the capon and serve it with the sauce.
- Poeling is a method of cooking whereby something is roasted in butter - a LOT of butter!. This method is mostly used with poultry (and especially game birds) and other white meat. It usually consists of browning on all sides (but not in every instance), encasing in bacon or lard, sweating vegetables of choice, placing meat/poultry in a vessel that can be closed up. It's much like roasting but a roasting pan has low sides and done without covering. This would be completely enclosed in a pan.
The juices that come from the roasting are then used to flavor some kind of sauce for whatever is being cooked in the butter.