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I have bought my first Chapon. Im serving it with the usual turkey. Mum reckons its a rooster and will be as tough as old boots (her mother, grandmother, great grandmother  kept chooks). Any last minute suggestions as to how to cook it, and, how does it taste?

My relatives are all eating BBQ prawns at the beach this xmas day!

Merry Xmas !!


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I just updated my Food Blog with the story of MY capon experience! 

I used the recipe for Roast Chicken with 2 Lemons and it was divine.  The only thing that I did different was to put a dry rub on it a few hours in advance.  Doing that gets the flavor of the salt and spices into the flesh and also helps to break down and tenderize the meat.  I found that a 3 kg capon cooked in much less time than I expected.  It took 90 minutes and was perfect.


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We have often bought a Chapon for Christmas and it has always been delicious.  However, this year I bought one (without the head) and similar to the poster in your link WJT, the breast was fine, but the rest was dark and not very nice meat, it didn't seem like a real Chapon, not very big either.  So, have some of us been buying "faux Chapons"?  They say to be sure it is a coq, buy one with the head on to see the crest.


I always thought it was a quality bird who had been fed well and was able to run about outside.  After seeing the castration and the way they are confined in the dark at the end, I've been put right off !



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Hormonal "castration" has been unlawful in Europe for many years. I

think it might still be practiced in the US where the issue of

hormonally enriched meat is not the cause for concern it is here, but

otherwise it has been abandoned in the West.

Surgical castration is still allowed in some places, though not in the

UK - at least not for commercial sales. Remember that the testicles on

a chicken are internal (about where the kidneys are on a human) so this

is quite an invasive proceedure. One reason to buy the Label Rouge or

similar product, assuming animal wealfare is an issue for you, is that

the operation is carried out with particular care to avoid infection or

undue discomforture. I am told that many less expensive capons are

imported from Asia where the wealfare standards and quality controls

are not so great. As always, knowing provenence is all important.

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Jon, Thank you for the information but no thanks, it is just not worth the risk, I find it pretty disgusting [+o(]. Christine, the side effects may not worry you too much but it has certainly put my husband off. No castrated birds for him, again, in his words not worth the risk [:D].
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Jean-Pierre was talking to a local lady today who does chapons and poulardes.

She says they do not shut them in at the end, but the last three weeks they are fed blé (that's wheat isn't it) and milk.  They are sold with the heads on.

Even if it's more expensive, it's probably better to buy locally where you know more what you are purchasing.


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I went off capons in the 1960s when my farmer father grew them. Injected hormone pellet into the neck and hoped that it had all been absorbed long before the bird arrived on the table. In modern parlance I suppose it would be called a trans-sexual.



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