Roast Capon in Cognac Sauce

Roast Capon with Cognac-Mushroom Sauce

This is a wonderful recipe for festive occasions submitted by Ron.

Recipe Serves 10

Bresse, a region of eastern France, is celebrated for raising some of that country’s finest poultry. The capon is considered the “king of the table” by many local aficionados of chicken. This superb recipe does justice to that title, making you feel a bit noble as your serve it. The bird and its luscious sauce are worth an indulgence. Don’t worry about adding any fat to the pan; the bird begins roasting on its back and quickly starts to render its fat. Serve with Sautéed Parsleyed Potatoes (Recipe below).


• 1 pound mushrooms (domestic white, wild, or a mixture), wiped clean and thinly sliced (about 7 cups)

• 1 ½ cups dry white wine

• 1 capon, 8 pounds, giblets, neck, and excess fat removed, patted dry

• 1 ¼ teaspoons each salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste.

• 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

• Sautéed Parsleyed Potatoes (recipe below)

• 1 Tablespoon Cognac

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 1 teaspoon potato starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Combine mushrooms and wine in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and boil gently for 10 minutes. Set pan aside off heat.

3. Season capon with 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, and the herbes de Provence, and place bird on its back on a rack in a roasting pan. Turn wing tips under. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, then turn over and roast it, breast side down, for 60 minutes. Finally, turn capon on back again, and roast for 10 additional minutes, for a total roasting time of 1 hour 40 minutes. (A thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh should register at least 160 to 170 F.) Transfer capon to an overnproof platter, and keep warm in a 180 F oven.

4. Meanwhile, while capon is roasting, prepare Sauteed Parsleyed Poatoes.

5. After capon is done and is resting in a warm oven, prepare the sauce: Remove as much fat as possible from drippings in roasting pan and drain juice from mushrooms into pan. Heat mixture over high heat for a few seconds, stirring constantly to dissolve any browned cooking bits in pan, then pour resulting glaze through a strainer set over mushrooms. Add Cognac and cream to mushroom mixture, bring to a boil, and stir in dissolved potato starch. Mix in the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper, and the tarragon.

6. Carve capon and serve it, with or without bones, with some of the sauce.



• 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or Red Bliss potatoes

• 2 to 3 tablespoons rendered duck fat

• 3 large cloves garlic

• 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Peel potatoes, cut into 3/8-inch cubes, and place in a large bowl of cold water to cover. Once all potatoes are cut, drain watter from bowl, and fill again. Potatoes may be left in water for several hours.

2. Heat duck fat in a large nonstick skillet over medum-high heat. Drain potatoes, and blot dry on paper towels. Add to hot fat and cook until crisp and browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, finely mince garlic and parsley together. Season potatoes with salt, pepper, and garlic-parsley mixture, turning to coat evenly