Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Infrared Cooked: Capon

Capon is the name for a rooster that has been castrated to make it grow larger and to make the meat taste better. 
In 162 BC when there was rationing of grain, Rome forbade the fattening of hens with grain. Some ingenious Romans got around the rationing by castrating roosters which resulted in their doubling in size. The process of turning a rooster into a capon is called caponization and it must be done before the rooster matures,  either by castration, or by using estrogen implants. The roosters become less aggressive, allowing capons to be kept together. As they are less active, their meat is more tender and fatty and the lack of hormones makes them less gamey. 
Today, with the advent of industrial raised chickens, capons have become rare. Today, chickens are raised to mature very quickly, often in five weeks, and the capons raised under the same conditions taste very similar to conventional chicken, so many advantages of caponization have been lost. I purchased my 7.45 pound capon from Gerrard's Market. 
After thawing it and taking it out of the package, I was struck by two things: first, how big it was, and second, how much it resembled a small turkey. 
I put it in the infrared cooker 
and cooked it about an hour. 
I took it to Rachael and Nate's for Easter lunch in a pot and cut it up there. 
I brought much of it home and had some for lunch on Monday. The legs, thighs 
and wings 
were much larger than a normal chicken, 
but also much smaller than the normal turkey. They were easier to eat and tasted better than normal turkey legs, thighs and wings. A turkey really is too big for most families for a meal and a chicken can be too small. The capon is a nice size because of that. I found it to be very moist, as advertised, and think I would prefer the capon to a turkey or chicken on most occasions. It really was a very fun find. Much of the information for this post came from Wikipedia. 


  1. That looks so gross it makes me sick

  2. Awe, another satisfied customer. You would have enjoyed the raccoon.