- 270 minutes
- For 10 people
- 5.8 € / person
- 270kcal per 100g.
How to make a stuffed capon in the oven .
Within the most classic recipe book at Christmas time, the stuffed capon occupies an exceptional position in Christmas recipes in Galicia.
The word capon , from the Greek kapon , means according to the RAE ” man or animal castrated, chicken that castrates as a child and is fattened to eat it.”
The capon is a free-range rooster similar to the Mos rooster that when castrated and undergoes the fattening process, acquires a finer and more aromatic meat than that of a normal rooster. It is an ideal animal for cooking stuffing and highly appreciated for party tables.
In Galicia we must approach Villalba to find the best capons in the region. In the first months of the year they begin the process to get the perfect Christmas capon.
The result is first class if you follow all the steps that you will find below. And if there is no budget this Christmas remember that roasted chicken or free-range chicken or pitu caleya are also good options.
As our great gourmet Álvaro Cunqueiro said about the Villalba capon:
“I speak of the Villalba, the capons of neighboring villages and Terra Chá and even the land of Pallares and Melide and Terra de Miranda.
But those that are now in people’s mouths are those from Xermade or Noche, from San Xoán de Alba or Guitiriz, who meet each year at the Villalba capon fair, standing erect in their baskets, on white tablecloths, with the nailed with six birch sticks on the same back.
I go every year from God to Villalba, where the tower of the princes of Andrade, to the fair of the capons … I try as I can, sometimes helped by experts and great dribblers like old Chao, who in glory is, and bought the pairs that is necessary, that I have forums to pay to friends from Barcelona, Madrid, Pamplona, Vigo… ”.
A perfect Christmas dish for a hungry family table and wanting to enjoy a high-class meal in good company. I think I’ve convinced you, right?
Preparing the capon and its filling
- We will have the capon already clean, from the viscera. We review the surface for any traces of feathers and remove them.
- We wash the capon directly under the tap and dry it carefully with kitchen paper.
- In a large bowl we mix the ingredients of what will be the filling of the capon.
- Add the raisins and the dried apricots, prunes and figs cut into cubes. We also incorporate the almonds and the chopped walnuts.
- Add the minced pork and the peeled and diced apples.
- Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with half the cognac, about 100 ml. and mix well.
- We season the capon inside and proceed to fill it with the filling that we have prepared.
Filling the Villalba capon
- To close it you have three options: either cover with a whole lemon or sew it with kitchen thread.
- We remove everything very well gathering the ingredients of the filling and with a spoon we fill the capon under pressure.
- With a needle and kitchen thread we sew the opening of the capon through which we have introduced the filling and try to keep it as closed as possible. It is important to try not to break the skin in this process.
- We divide the cognac with which we plan to bathe the capon in two, half will go to the oven tray and the other half in a bowl to bathe the capon.
- The leftover liquid from the rooster’s baking, we will put it in a sauce boat so that everyone can add whatever they want.
- We tie the legs together and the wings to keep them close to the body. In this way we will maintain the shape of the bird during baking.
- We preheat the oven to 180º C for about 15 minutes. As you can see in the photos, the oven tray will go to the bottom.
- In this way the oven will have enough humidity so that the capon does not remain as a stone. The oven rack is placed on the next level to the tray, below the middle position of the oven.
Baking of the Villalba capon and final presentation
- We put the capon smeared with a splash of extra virgin olive oil in the oven.
- We place the capon on a wide tray and suitable for the oven. We water the bird with the broth and the rest of the cognac.
- Bake at 180º for 4 hours. The last half hour we are going to brown it with air and a soft grill, controlling that it does not burn us.
- This took me 4 hours of oven at 180º C (the first two hours with aluminum foil on top).
- Every 45 minutes we remove the capon from the oven for a moment and water it with its own juice. Thus we avoid that the animal stays dry and that the skin burns us.
- The process is not difficult but it is laborious, but it is worth it.
- For the garnish we have gone for a classic, the potatoes with onions.
- When 1 hour and a half is left until the end of the roast, add the peeled and cut potatoes and the onions to the baking tray.
- Once we have everything prepared, animal and garnish. We leave the capon in the oven already off.
- We remove the garnish with the sauce that has been released. There will be a very aromatic sauce perfect to accompany the capon.
- For plating we put a piece of capon with some of the filling that we have prepared too much and the garnish with potatoes and onions.
Simply one of the best recipes for stuffed birds in Galicia. Without a doubt one of the best, I am sure you will impress your guests.
Its texture and flavor, which in my opinion makes it richer than stuffed turkey or stuffed pularda.
Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this Villalba capon recipe . Do not miss any detail so that it comes out perfect.
Tips for a perfect Villalba capon
- One of the tricks I have learned in cooking classes is adding liquor to the stuffed poultry. It gives it incredible texture and flavor. It is an optional step but you can apply the Capon.
- We choose the liquor that you like to cook, cognac, brandy, port, rum, brandy … I leave it to your choice. We inject the capon with a special syringe for birds, with a thick needle. Always clicking a little more on the breasts, as they are the ones that tend to get drier. The action of the oven will help caramelize the liquor within the same animal, the result is impressive.
- This process of rearing a Villalba capon will last until the animal reaches about 8 months of life, after castration and priming, to obtain an animal with fine skin, delicate and very tasty meat, weighing up to 7 kilos.
- The preparation of this meat recipe for this type of stuffed and baked pieces is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to take advantage of your meat. Surely, one of the most traditional fillings at Christmas is the one that uses dried fruits and raisined fruits, dried apricots, grapes, plums and figs.
- The slow and prolonged baking, watered with a cognac that further aromatizes its meat, will give us, as a final result, a delicious capon.