29 November 2015

Thanksgiving capon dinner

First, the "empty stomach warning" ... that is, do not look if you have an empty stomach.  Go snack before reading on!

We had Uno the capon as our Thanksgiving dinner, and yes indeed, he was tasty.  For those who may not recall, here is Uno out on the grass:
Uno the hatchery GLW capon
Note that his comb and wattles are small and still chick-pink ... that is how you can tell a capon from a slip.  When the hormones come back on a slip, they redden up and grow their comb and wattles again.  Even without his hormones, Uno still kept almost all of his tail feathers and held his own among the six slips.  I do recall him being a little pill as a cockerel, and unlike Pollux, Uno showed absolutely no aptitude for nannying chicks.  The one time we tried, all the chicks were huddled in the far corner of the tractor while Uno was eating all the food.

Uno plucked and dressed out beautifully.  My postal scale only goes up to five pounds, so I don't have a weight for him, but he was well-fleshed and had a generous amount of rich golden-yellow fat on him.  Here he is on the smoker:
capon on the smoker
Doesn't he look just positively scrumptious?   Hubby only gave him a light smoking - one hour - just enough for flavor.  Then, into the largest crock pot:
capon in the crock pot
For some reason, I thought I posted a pic of one of the cull cockerels in that same crock pot, but apparently not.  Uno was ten months old, and the next-oldest cockerel we've eaten was only six months old, so there is a definite difference in size and cooking time.  When I served dinner, he was cooked through, but not to tender stage yet.  Next time, I'll just set up the crock pot on low to go overnight, or maybe just "warm" which is one setting below low.

For those curious, dinner was rounded out with baked sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole (frozen from grocery store broccoli, as our plants out in the garden aren't ready yet), cranberry sauce, and homemade dinner rolls.  Dessert was baked pumpkin cheesecake, and was served a couple hours before dinner to give the rolls enough rising time.  It's a good thing we ate dessert first - no one had room for anything else after the dinner!  That was my first baked cheesecake, and I probably should have gotten a pic, but it is just too late for that now.

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