Hugo Desnoyer’s secret for making a roasted capon tender and crispy

With its thin skin and meat that is both firm and marbled, the Bresse capon is Hugo Desnoyer’s favorite Christmas poultry, who also recommends the Landes capon, which is just as juicy and much cheaper. But having a beautiful animal prepared and maintained by its butcher is not enough without the mastery of cooking that will sublimate it.

The one offered by the favorite butcher of starred tables is not the fastest, but it has the advantage of simplicity: it cannot be missed and remains valid for any poultry, whether large or small, with or without fine filling inside, regardless of whether it is served at Christmas or in Trinité, Sunday dinner or a simple weekday evening. Here are Hugo Desnoyer’s recommendations found in his latest book A butcher supporter’s meat recipes (First editions).

A fire in two phases

Cooking poultry is essential. It takes place in two stages for Hugo Desnoyer. The first lasts half an hour at 220°C “the time to brown the skin well, a quarter of an hour on one side, a quarter of an hour on the other”. Be careful not to put the animal in the oven before the oven is hot.

The second phase lasts… 2.30, 2.45, 3 hours… “In fact, as much as you want, emphasizes the artisan butcher, it will not damage the poultry and it will not change the cooking”. The only requirement: remember to drip with a ladle or regularly turn the poultry in the cooking juices. “Let’s say every half hour,” advises Hugo Desnoyer.

Candied vegetables in juice

According to your preferences, you will choose the vegetables to preserve in the juice released by the poultry. “Cut a few carrots, onions, spring onions, a little garlic, mushrooms, a very ripe tomato, add a little thyme and that’s enough”, recommends Hugo Desnoyer. In his book he talks about massaging poultry with butter on all sides. In our video, he simply dices “a lot of butter” before drizzling his poultry with olive oil, salting it well and peppering it moderately.

After the long cooking, the poultry is finally ready to come out of the oven. “Touch and see how tender the whites are,” screams the artisan butcher, not caring about the thighs. “They will have had plenty of time to cook. All that remains is to cut the poultry. Hugo Desnoyer wishes “good luck to the one who will take care of it”, and which all the guests at the table will not fail to congratulate.

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